First things first, introductions: my name is Phil Brown and I am one of the volunteers working on the Central Lodge Project. I’m a recent history graduate and I’m here to talk about all of the weird and wonderful things that I got up to as a volunteer on this project.
I first got involved in this project on a very cold morning in late January. Through a family member who works at the college I had heard that they were looking for people to come and help out with various conservation tasks that were linked to the project. Well one thing led to another and soon I found myself wearing a hard hat, safety boots and more warm layers than your average arctic explorer climbing up a rickety staircase with a clipboard and camera on my way to look for graffiti in the attic of the Central Lodge.
Continue reading “Twenty Not-So-Green Bottles and Writing on the Walls”
Hello, my name is Ann Thomas and I‘m part of the Friends of Stewart Park group. The Friends were formed 10 years ago to support the Heritage Lottery Fund bid to restore and renovate the park’s buildings and grounds. Today we continue to raise funds for the park and promote it as a major attraction. We also work with park staff on practical tasks and on agreed projects.
Stewart Park is often called “the jewel in Middlesbrough’s crown” – quite rightly in my opinion – and was given to the people of Middlesbrough as a public park in 1928. There have been many changes over the years, the latest being the arrival of Askham Bryan College who are in the process of renovating and developing the Central Lodge as their Middlesbrough campus. The park is approximately 120 acres of open parkland where you are free to come to learn, run, walk and play and yet you can still find a quiet spot to sit and watch the wildlife and birds or simply admire the wonders of nature.
Some of my favourite spots in the park are the restored walled garden next to the Bolckow Visitor Centre, with its summer house and wide variety of plants, the temple with its colourful flower bed surrounded by some of the park’s specimen trees and the arboretum near the Captain Cook commemorative vase with its glorious displays of foliage throughout the year.
You probably have some different ideas about your favourite place in the park – if so then why not post them here, with a photo if you wish, and tell us why you chose that spot?
The thing that struck me when walking around the surviving buildings of the estate owned by Henry Bolckow for the first time was how strange it was, given the significant amounts of wealth on show, that the intended life of such an impressive private estate could have been so short. By 1960, less than 100 years after the erection of the Central Lodge buildings in 1864, themselves built only a few short years after Marton Hall itself in the mid-1850s, the hall they had served was gone and the estate buildings were being used by the local council.
Image Provided by Teesside Archives.
Continue reading “Henry Bolckow – The Short Reign of an Industrial King”