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Celebrate 125 years of Poole Park

Poole’s much-loved Victorian park is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a spectacular family extravaganza on Sunday 2 August.

Local residents are invited to join in the celebrations from 10am to 4pm as Poole Park showcases the park through the decades.
Seldown entrance to Poole Park
The fun packed day, which is supporting the £2.7million bid for Heritage Lottery Funding, includes lots of free activities to enjoy, with everything from vintage cars and period fashion to inflatables, art, sports, martial arts, a family dog show and much more!

You can take part in The Friends of Poole Park raffle and tombola for great prizes; they are also providing great support on the day with volunteers handing out programmes, collecting donations and manning their own stand and information kiosk.

There will be live music from The Zealots, Memphis Belle, Real Vintage and Miss Annie to name just a few as well as have-a-go face painting workshops throughout the day.

Visitors can also upload their photos as part of the exciting Poole Park Mosaic and become part of Poole’s future history. Every £5 donated from every photo upload will help to unlock up to £50 in match funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The thousands of photos uploaded over the summer will be collated to form a magnificent mosaic, which when viewed from the distance will depict the original design of the park from 1890.

The Mayor of Poole, Councillor Ann Stribley, said: “This special event promises to be a great day out for all the family and is a fitting tribute to this popular and historic park’s anniversary. I am delighted to be celebrating the park's 125th anniversary especially as I was also Mayor of Poole during its 100th birthday year.”

The Mayor of Poole will invite everyone to gather together at 2.30pm and form the figures 125. A drone will pass overhead and take aerial photographs commemorating this significant milestone in Poole Park’s history.

The Prince of Wales together with Princess Alexandra and their children were invited to officially open Poole’s ‘People’s Park’ on 28 January 1890. The grand opening didn’t quite go according to plan as the Princess and her two daughters stayed away with suspected Siberian flu.

The streets from Parkstone Park to Poole Park, as well as those of old Poole, had been lavishly decorated with splendid triumphal arches constructed and a band had been hired to play in the pavilion. A hurricane force wind and blinding rain hit Poole around 3am on Saturday 18 January. The severe storm only abated at daybreak to reveal ruined decorations and a wrecked pavilion. The opening was hastily revised with Prince Edward eventually taking a tour of Poole Town before declaring Poole Park officially open in a ceremony on the platform of the railway station prior to boarding his train.

Councillor John Rampton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Parks and Open Spaces, Borough of Poole, said: “For 125 years Poole Park has been known as the ‘People’s Park’ so it’s great to see the whole community get behind this special celebration on 2 August. We hope of course that there will be less drama than the events surrounding the opening in 1890!

“I am particularly thrilled that the Poole Park 125th anniversary event has been given the honour of closing the national Love Parks Week campaign. This annual celebration of parks encourages people to get out and enjoy their green open spaces and for 125 years, Poole people have been doing just that and enjoying all that Poole Park has to offer.”

Michael Collins, Vice Chairman of The Friends of Poole Park, added: "This great celebration comes at a significant time and presents a wonderful opportunity for The Friends of Poole Park. We have some great events in the pipeline which we hope residents and visitors will enjoy, and hope that those who enjoy the park and events could give a little time to help as volunteers, or join as members. You can join on Sunday at the event and get membership all the way through 2016 at no extra cost."