Historic restoration at John Leigh Park is completed with help of community

The One Trafford Partnership have completed works to restore the heritage gates at the Hartley Road entrance of John Leigh Park.

As part of the ongoing green space capital programme, the scheme was backed by Section 106 funding. This funding was enough to complete the specialised stonework required to rebuild the entrance. In addition, the Friends of John Leigh Park successfully crowdfunded to provide extra funding on top of Trafford Council’s investment of £52,000.

The group managed to raise an extra £15,487, including £5,000 from Seamons Moss Community Association, to allow for additional restoration works to be carried out. This included reintroducing the iconic coping stones which were hand-crafted by skilled masons. The funding also allowed wrought iron fencing to be reintroduce, after having been removed during World War II as part of the war effort.

For the restoration to be completed, a number of historic accounts, images and drawings had to be studied to ensure the rebuild was as accurate as could be. The works included like-for-like masonry; with three pillars on each side of the entrance, complete with coping stones, and black iron railings. Although not part of the original historic gateway, additional bollards have also been installed to protect the gates from vehicles.

David Jolley, Honourable Secretary of the Friends of John Leigh Park, said:

“We’re so pleased to be able to see the Hartley Road gates in its original form. The restoration has brought history back into the park. We would like to thank everyone for their kind donations, including Seamons Moss Association and Trafford Council for investing in this project and One Trafford for getting the plans drawn up for this project. John Leigh Park has been part of the Altrincham and indeed the Trafford community for 103 years. With the support of the community, residents and families who have donated, we can be part of the rich history that is already part of this much-loved park.”

The park itself was donated to the public by cotton industrialist, John Leigh, and opened to the public in 1917. It would be an honour and a pleasure to give back to the park what it has given us as a community and a volunteer group over the years.”

Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Liz Patel said:

“The restoration of the entrance gates is an important part of the historic culture in Trafford, which is why I am so please that Trafford Council is able to invest in and support this project. The Friends of John Leigh Park have been fantastic in drumming up support from the public and helping to bring this project to life.

Parks and green spaces, now more than ever, are so important to our health and wellbeing. Our parks are still open for residents to enjoy fresh air, exercise and play, but there are still restrictions in place. Restrictions include the closure of multi-use games areas and fenced outdoor sport facilities. Please continuing social distancing and sanitising your hands before and after using park equipment. Thank you to everyone who have been following guidelines and keeping everyone safe.”

The green space capital programme for 2020-21 is continuing to make improvements across a number of Trafford’s parks and green spaces. Completed schemes include the replacement of outdoor gym equipment at Worthington Park and the repair and resetting of play equipment at Pickering Lodge. New schemes beginning in February to March 2021 include surfacing repairs at Longford Park and repairs to play equipment at Hendham Drive Play Area.

Discover more about the green space capital programme at www.trafford.gov.uk/parkmaintenance

Posted on Friday 19th February 2021