District eye: Ightenhill park
SET back off the main road from Burnley to Padiham is Ightenhill Park, a place families have enjoyed for more than a century.
The park was established in 1912 on five acres of grounds that belonged to Lord Shuttleworth’s Gawthorpe Estate to provide open air space for nearby residents.
In 1913 a project was carried out to construct bowling facilities on the north side of Park Lane, these joined the already existing private tennis club which was founded in 1887.
When it opened Ightenhill Park contained paths, shrubberies, lawns, flower beds and areas of small planting.
Since the park opened its gates the iron railings which have been removed, and the bandstand has gone, but the layout of the park is substantially the same as when it was first opened.
The Green Flag park now boasts bowling greens, tennis courts, play facilities, a multi-use ball court and an events area.
A friends group for the park was established in 2005. Chairman Barrie Bamford said: “When the friends group started the park was in need of some tender loving care.
“Since then the kids play area has been completely refurbished, we have got a junior play area and an adult exercise area.
“The tennis courts were the first thing that we decided to refurbish in 2008, the court had holes in the surface, the original fence has been replaced.
“In total with various grants we have spent £70,000 since the group was established.
“At one time there was some anti social behaviour in the park but since the improvements have taken place in the park people seem to have taken more pride in the area.
“It is known that originally the park did have a bandstand, however, no one seems to be sure when it was removed.
“We would like to get a bandstand in the park again, we had hoped to get the one in Burnley town centre however it seems unlikely that we would get it in the next few years so we are now planning to try and get funding to get one.
“We had cables installed for lights in the park a few years ago. We now want to get the funding to buy the lights.
“Throughout the year we hold a number of festivals in the park. It is a huge asset to the area and is very well used facility.”
The next event to take place is the Carols in the Park which will take place on Friday, December 13 at 7pm.
The lantern procession will meet at the junction of Ightenhill Park Lane/Southern Avenue at 6.30pm. There will be a prize for the best lantern and a special guest.
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