BBC Manchester Places

BBC Manchester on the 8th May 2008, as part of its Manchester places series, included an article on Longford Park.

The article describes a visit to the park in Spring, the heritage and different users of the park as well as featuring Horace the Goat! The full text of the Longford Park Parklife article can be found here

Longford Park on a fine spring morning is a special place to be. From the Edge Lane park gates, a mature tree-lined path offers elegant views with the daffodils providing an abundance of colour. The warming yellows contrast with the surrounding winter browns and greys and hint towards the coming of summer. The snow-coated daffodils in April capture the sometimes unpredictable nature of the changing of seasons.

Amongst the dog owners, parents with prams, joggers and walkers there is a nice sense of comradeship; everyone seems pleased that they have made the effort to be here.

Many head towards Pets’ Corner to look at the caged birds ranging from the exotic Kakariki from New Zealand to native geese and ducks. And grazing amongst the rabbits is Horace the Goat. Horace is a 12-year-old Welsh mountain goat donated to the park by a couple from Sale that were finding him a real handful. When he was younger, volunteers would take him on walks round the park for exercise. He is getting on a bit now and is less keen on his walks than he used to be. Poor Horace!

In the centre of Longford Park there are still several surviving properties that were built for the original Longford Hall Estate in 1877 for the ‘Cotton King’ and philanthropist John Rylands. It is also possible to wander round the façade of the original Longford Hall as well as view the original coach house and stable buildings. As a kid growing up in Stretford it was always a treat to go to Longford Park. The Queen visited Longford Park as part of her Silver Jubilee year so we knew that it was special. It was about a mile walk to the park and on a hot summer’s day we would be rewarded with ice creams from a café in the ornamental gardens. The café has long gone but the gardens are there and still a lovely tranquil place where you can acquaint yourself with the friendly squirrels.

From here a short walk takes you past the popular tennis and basketball courts. Other activities you might see on any given day can range from bowling, football, touch rugby to Pesäpallo (Finnish Baseball)! A pleasant path through the trees will then take you back to where you started on Edge Lane. The route around Longford Park takes less than an hour but what a great start to the day!