By Yousif Farah
A famous Victorian Park is set to celebrate its 125th Anniversary in June. Clissold Park, in Stoke Newington, which has held green flag award since 2006 in recognition of its clean and green spaces, is one of Hackney’s oldest and most cherished parks.
However, despite the Anniversary being less than six months away there is no clear indication as to how the occasion will be marked despite organisers of the event calling on friends and users of the park to suggest ideas.
So the Big Issue Online Journalists team visited the park this week to find out local ideas and opinions on how to commemorate the occasion.
Andy Brown, an 82-year-old who has been coming to the park for a walk for the last 15 years, said: “I knew the anniversary was this year, but have no idea what they’re planning to do. I wish they’d finish building the tennis courts. I’ll probably just celebrate it by having an afternoon walk.”
However, Adam Grice, a technician and radio presenter from Dalston, had plenty. He said: “They should have theatre and sports games from 125 years ago with a modern twist. Actually, find out who was top of the hit parade back then and get a local grime artist to play all the old hits and do cover versions.”
The former country estate was opened to the public on the 24th of July, 1889, and includes the Grade II listed Clissold House, a cafe, paddling pool, tennis courts, a butterfly dome, bird and animal enclosures, and two ponds named: Beckmere and Runtzmere after the co-founders of the park.
The Park is blessed with spectacular views, and thanks to the extensive restoration which took place in 2011 and 2012 Clissold House has been taken off the “ Heritage at Risk” register where it has featured since 1991.
Clissold Park User Group, an independent group that works with Hackney Council to give a voice to park users, is asking for ideas on how to mark the occasion between June 21 and 26.
To submit your ideas, please email firstname.lastname@example.org