St. Helens in Merseyside is an industrial town which has seen much of its industrial disappear during the past decade. Its once thriving mining industry has gone and the chemical and glass-making industries have dwindled. Due to the hazardous nature of production and its effect on the environment, ill-health was widespread amongst the workforce and it was a prudent employer who saw the need to care for his workers. Samuel Taylor was a wealthy landowner who owned much of the high ground above the town which was rented out to tenant farmers. He also owned the water rights to the lakes which supplied the town and industry with its supply of fresh water. On his retirement he set a side the parkland around his estate including its water to the people of St Helens in the hope that they would benefit from its recreational qualities. The park had included walks, fishing and boating lakes formal gardens and woodlands and a small menagerie. Over the years the area became run down even though still a popular visitors’ attraction until in 2004 it was awarded major lottery funding to see it restored and revamped. Led by Karen Jaundrill-Scott, a consortium of artists were commissioned to research the park’s communal history and engage the surrounding communities in revisiting and recording the history past and recent, of this fine amenity. This book details the work that went into the research, the involvement of local schools, friends groups and the park ranger department and the encouragement of local people to record their own memories and hopes for the park. The study, as seen through these pages, encouraged the community, young and old, to make their own statement on the park’s important role as envisaged so many years back by Samuel Taylor. It illustrates the importance of community inclusion and indeed many of the illustrations were supplied by local people. The research, community activity and book were funded by the Heritage Lottery fund.
|Publisher||Local Heritage Initiative|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|