Gardener looks at park past

As reported on February 24th 2011 by Peter Devine

FLASHBACK…The park’s rockery in the early 1970s
A FORMER Longford Park gardener has sent in pictures of how it used to look as it undergoes a revamp.

Chris Barnett’s photograph shows the park when it was still in its prime. He worked on the park from 1961 until 1979.
The project to transform part of the park is well under way following the award of £50,000 funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s People’s Millions competition.

It is, hoped the cash will breathe new life into the park’s rose garden, restore running water to the ornamental fountains and to the Japanese garden and to build a band stand.
The works are expected to be completed by April. John Fitzgerald, a member of the Friends of Longford Park said: “The initial work on the gardens started back in November, and despite the bad weather in December, the project is progressing.

The designs were put together by the council with the help of the pupils of Stretford Grammar School.When it is completed in April, there is going to be quite a lot of planting to be done which will take.a season or two to become established, and before the beds will come to fruition.”

The project has also provided the opportunity for pupils to become involved in all aspects of transforming the gardens and help develop an education pack. It is seen as an important stepping stone to future improvements in Longford Park as laid out in the council’s park’s masterplan.