Leisure => Parks, Playgrounds & Playing fields => Topic started by: MedwayDweller on February 23, 2010, 16:24:09

Title: Gillingham Park
Post by: MedwayDweller on February 23, 2010, 16:24:09
My memories of the park date back to the mid 70's, I remember riding my bike with stabilisers around the curving paths and under the rose covered trellis work which formed a kind of tunnel. This would have been the part close to Pembroke House running parallel with Oxford Road where the swings and slide were. Apart from the main gates in Park Avenue, Oxford Road and Canterbury Street there is/were a couple of smaller entrances. One was on the
corner of Park Avenue and Oxford Road, and also you could walk through the Municipal Buildings car park and go through a small gate there.

Does anyone remember the little kiosk that was sited near that gate close to the Municipal Buildings? It sold things like ice cream and soft drinks, it was gone by the late 70's. Not sure if it was demolished or burnt down but would love to hear from others who remember it also.
Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: merc on February 23, 2010, 19:10:56
I remember the blue sailing ship climbing frame, that me and my mates used to climb over the top. Also the two concrete pipes you could climb inside nearby.

I went to several fairs and other events there too. One of them had a motor-cycle display team.
Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: MedwayDweller on February 23, 2010, 19:21:46
Just recall seeing an American custom car exhibition probably around '77. Was some amazing paint jobs there and seemed all the more impressive to a 10 year old.
Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: The Rook on April 03, 2010, 20:13:47
This is me in said park in 1975/76?

(http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/MatedRook/scan00070pl90pl.jpg)
Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: Leofwine on July 02, 2010, 00:57:30
An old postcard of Gillingham Park, early 20th Century. I think this is the old Keepers Lodge by the gate in Canterbury Street.

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4119/4752473692_38344767f0_z.jpg)

I used to go to the park with my grandparents when I was very young, but my memories of it are hazy at best.  But the general feeling associated with the memories are good ones.

(Larger versions: http://www.flickr.com/photos/22124479@N03/4752473692/in/set-72157624283300565/)
Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: merc on July 02, 2010, 11:33:33
I have fond memories of the park to Leofwine  :)

I think the Lodge is still undergoing building work at the moment. I remember drawing it once when i was at Byron Road Junior School.


Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: merc on July 09, 2010, 12:01:42
Early 80's

(http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee257/mercury1923/GillinghamPark80s.jpg)
Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: Chatham_Girl85 on June 04, 2011, 15:45:23
According to the book Old Gillingham by Philip MacDougall (ISBN - 0948193 328) first published in 1987, it has a photo of the bandstand and the author states that there was a refreshment room underneath.

Hope that helps :)
Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: merc on March 15, 2012, 13:00:57
In 1916 a small museum opened beneath the bandstand which rehoused some exhibits from a private museum in Medway Road. There also used to be a large aviary in the park, which had many exotic birds.
Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: Richrat2000 on March 15, 2012, 14:27:26
Gillingham Park Fete Tragedy.
http://www.firemanswedding.com/
Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: GP on March 15, 2012, 19:34:15

Does anyone remember the little kiosk that was sited near that gate close to the Municipal Buildings? It sold things like ice cream and soft drinks, it was gone by the late 70's. Not sure if it was demolished or burnt down but would love to hear from others who remember it also.

The wooden kiosk/hut  was owned by Mr Bowman, he was a councillor as well. The home made  Ice cream was sold from one of the windows. The Park Cafe as it was called provided canteen facilities for the municipal buildings staff. His assistant was Nellie Bottle. I think the wooden building was burnt down by vandels
Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: silkenrobe on April 01, 2012, 15:15:57
Early 80's

Picture removed from post by Moderator.


OMGoodness! I remember these pipes
And the rope 'swing' that you hung on to like Tarzan
We used to go regularly, during the mid to late 70's  after school on Wednesdays during the summer months and buy lemonade ice lollies from the kiosk
Fond memories
Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: Ted H on February 16, 2013, 18:51:05
Before the war there were three cannons, one large and two small, probably dating from WW1, by the flagpole which was located below the steps leading down from the bandstand circle into the main park open space. They must have gone for scrap metal in 1939 or '40, as did the railings around the park plus the metal gates. Householders' garden railings also went the same way. The WW1 tank which stood in Rochester Castle grounds near the main entrance suffered the same fate. I wonder if a photo exists of the guns ?
Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: merc on February 16, 2013, 19:39:39
A pair of the parks entrance gates are now at Fort Amhersts main entrance. They were donated by Gillingham Council in the early 80's. The gates were restored at the R.S.M.E. at Brompton Barracks.
Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: Ted H on February 17, 2013, 10:18:23
In about 1940/41 the main part of the park was turned into allotments as part of the "Dig for Victory" campaign.
Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: Leofwine on May 06, 2013, 19:11:50
Some old postcards of the park:

The Opening of Gillingham Park by the Mayor, July 25th, 1906
(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8218/8310613625_22e8a4cf44_c.jpg)

C. 1909
(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8220/8315541616_96445a5579_c.jpg)

The Great Snowstorm, March 1909
(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7055/6780625858_35c840368a_z.jpg)
Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: smiffy on December 13, 2017, 18:13:15
Not sure when this would date from, probably around 1910.
Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: oobydooby on December 17, 2017, 11:51:24
During the late sixties I dated the younger daughter of the Park Superintendent,  or park keeper, I'm not sure of his exact title and will not reveal his or his daughters name as it is possible she is still living as she was younger than I.

Inside the lodge or gatehouse the décor was quite ostentatious for a young impressionable man of little means such as I, but this is probably where I should get back to writing my story elsewhere on this forum.
Title: Re: Gillingham Park
Post by: smiffy on February 03, 2018, 15:46:21
A different view of the opening: