To celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the official opening of Arnot Hill Park in Arnold there will be a special Picnic in the Park with music, dance and theatre later this month.
The free event organised by Gedling Borough Council takes place on Sunday 21 July from 12 noon-4pm and includes a host of activities including performances from HandMade Theatre, music from Thoresby Colliery band, art and crafts with City Arts including painting a new mural under the old railway bridge, history displays from Arnold Local History Group and guided history walks around the park.
The Green Flag Award winning park was originally built in 1792 but didn’t open to the public until 1919. The iconic feature of the park, Arnot Hill House, was also the birthplace of Thomas Hawksley, known as one of the greatest water engineers of the nineteenth century. A new memorial statue, in his honour, is planned for the park and visitors to the picnic event will be able to get a first look at the designs.
The park and Grade II listed house, which were used as a hospital by the Red Cross Society during the First World War, have undergone many changes and additions over the years. Stables, greenhouses, a putting green, boat house and tennis courts were all once found at the park. The main Civic Centre offices for Gedling Borough Council were built in 1985 followed by other more recent additions such as the children’s play area, skate park and bowls pavilion.
Every activity scheduled throughout the day has been planned with the history and heritage of the park in mind, from crafts themed around the park, to the type of music that would have previously been played in the former bandstand in the park.
Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke said;
“This park is iconic to people in Gedling, it’s incredible to think about the history of the park itself and what’s happened here over the last 100 years and this event is all about celebrating that. This free event has something for everyone to enjoy, whether that’s taking part in the craft activities, learning about the history of the park, or just enjoying a nice picnic in the park, its set to be a fantastic day.”
Chair of the Friends of Arnot Hill Park, Councillor David Ellis said;
“The Friends of the Park are very pleased to have been involved in organising and funding this event along with the Borough Council, Arnold Local History Group, and artists to make sure this park's centenary can be celebrated in a way it deserves. A lot of work has gone into the research and planning of the event and I’d like to thank everyone who’s helped make it happen. We hope that the entertainments and activities will have something for everyone. It’s a stunning park to visit at any time of the year, but this event will really highlight its rich heritage as well as making for a lovely day out with friends and family”
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