Glossop Heritage Trust

Bankswood - Hadfield's Park.

The following article was printed in the Glossop Chronicle on 21 January 1938.

Bankswood Park Here is a view of Bankswood, Hadfield, or, as it was formerly called, "The Castle.”
Always partial to open spaces, we like them best when they are on a hill. We like to get to the highest path at Bankswood, under the trees of “The Castle” wood, and admire the extensive view of Longdendale.
These paths which have been cut at Bankswood, always strike us as the best improvement made there up to the present. There are the paddling pool and roundabouts and the tennis courts which satisfy other desires, and, of course, charming flower beds in summer and autumn.

Officially, Bankswood was purchased by the Corporation in 1926. Unofficially, the story goes that Bankswood was obtained for nothing. Becoming the property of Mr. J. Todd when he purchased the Glossop Hall Estate, he sold it to the late Mr. R. Wilson. Mr. S. T. Ashton, then chairman of the local Finance Committee, interviewed Mr. Todd, asking him to throw in Bankswood with the purchase money for Glossop Hall and grounds. Mr. Todd regretted that he could not do so as he had already “sold It to Mr. Wilson”. Mr. Ashton pleaded and argued, and ultimately Mr. Todd bought the land back from Mr. Wilson and put it in with the Glossop Hall and grounds purchase money. Bankswood itself was not officially opened like Manor Park, but it was a great day for Hadfield when the slipper baths at Station-road, and the tennis courts at Bankswood, were, opened on a beautiful summer day. Mrs. H. L. Roebuck and Mrs. R. J. Boak, you may remember, had the first game or tennis.

There was big opposition when the railway company announced their intention of closing the level crossing which had always been used as a short cut. Members and officials of the Council went to London to interview high railway officials, but the company stuck to their decision and would not put a footbridge across.
It was wise to close the crossing in view of the increase In pedestrian traffic since Bankswood had become such a rendezvous, but it was a distinct inconvenience, and still is, that a footbridge was not erected.

A missing link to Bankswood’s completeness is a pavilion. How many wordy wars have there been In Glossop Town Council over the need for a pavilion. Undoubtedly a pavilion is required and, now that through the thoughtfulness of the late Mr. T. Firth, a sum of money has been left for the provision of a “shelter” at Bankswood, we can expect something to be done within the next twelve months.

Footnote. The following week the Chronicle reported a discussion at a meeting of the Town Council when Councillor May objected to the proposal of the Education Committee to supply and erection a pavilion in the West End playing field, insisting that Bankswood should come first - "Hadfield people have had so many promises about it and it has not been built for economic reasons. When the Education Authority wants anything they get it straight away. I move the question of a pavilion at West End is deferred until Hadfield get theirs.". The motion was lost when it was pointed out that £150 had been allotted for the erection of a pavilion at Bankswood. Although it had never been done, now there was a further £50 "through the kind action of a Hadfield man".

The park suffered from lack of maintenance in the years following World War 2, the tennis courts becoming derilict, followed by the paddling pool and the children's playground. In more recent years, though, new play equipment has been installed. The park has always been a place for quiet relaxation and woodland walks.

Since first loading this page we have received the following information: The pool and play area were well used during the WW2 years up to the very early 1950s. The tennis courts were neglected during that time with the surrounding netting mostly removed. The wooden pavilion above the top court suffered from vandalism from the late 1950s.
The author recalls a small wooden shelter backing onto the houses at 2 and 4 Park Road in the 1950s and 1960s (subsequently removed). We have been informed, since first loading this page, that it was erected when the heavily vandalised tennis court pavilion was demolished. Originally there was a larger 'tennis shelter' about 50mt from the top court on high ground. It was a wooden construction with covered seating on each of the 4 sides.

Bankswood Park map Bankswood Park
The (1922) map and the photo both show the location of the old level crossing at the end of Queen Street (which had been part of Shaw Lane before housing development).

The field in front of the railway in the photo was laid out as a football pitch in the 1950s and 60s - rather dangerous if a ball was kicked over the fence.

Two views from the woods of the paddling pool, tennis courts and the children's playground.
Bankswood Park Bankswood Park

and two views in the woods themselves.
Bankswood Park Bankswood Park

Return to the Local History Main Menu, Return to The Parks and Hospitals Articles, Return to the Home Page.

Page last updated: 16 July 2018.
Copyright © 2017 Glossop Heritage Trust. All Rights Reserved.