free parks people coverFollowing the recent focus on the HS2 depot threat to Park Street Gardens, we received an informative passage from Free Parks for the People, A History of , 1844-1974, by Carl Chinn, Brewin Books 2012, Chapter 7, The Duty to Do Good: Recreation Grounds:

“In 1878, legislation empowered the Corporation to take over the town’s disused churchyard and burial-grounds and to convert them into public gardens or recreation grounds, subject to the consent of the Bishop of Worcester and of the clergy of the respective parishes.

“The first of these to be dealt with was the burial ground in Park Street that belonged to St. Martin’s Parish. Dent declaimed its condition ‘which had long been a scandal to the town, its walls broken, gravestones thrown down and destroyed, and the ground itself a wilderness covered with brick-ends and unsightly refuse of every description’.

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“The ground was divided by Fazeley Street and taken over by the Corporation in 1879. It was ‘tastefully laid out with flower-beds, shrubs, and walks’, and these Park Street Gardens were opened to the public by the Mayor, Richard Chamberlain, on June 25, 1880”.

Will Allison Street Gardens, a few hundred yards away, be turned into a car park?