8 February 2014

Parklife

I have blogged about the millionaire Sheffield philanthropist Alderman J. G. Graves before. See here. Yesterday afternoon, before food shopping, I had a long walk round Graves Park in the southern part of the city. It was of course named after him. There are 92 hectares in total and the park contains ancient woodland, streams, the remains of an old packhorse route, football pitches, bowling greens, a cafe, tennis courts, a children's petting farm and an actual farm that specialises in Highland cattle. The parkland was given to the city of Sheffield by Graves in the mid nineteen thirties. 
Park entrance from Meadowhead
Tired blogger resting by the bowling green. I hope he wasn't dead.
Two man football practice
A view of Woodseats from Bolehill
Norton Hall and Norton Parish Church on the edge of the park. There was a significant
country estate here before the arrival of William the Conqueror and those pesky French. 
Horny Highland cattle. According to the information
 panel, this one is called Bob.
Dog walkers. Young mothers pushing prams. Old people sitting on benches. Toddlers feeding the ducks. Football players and lone photographers like me. Schoolchildren strolling home. In cities, parks like Graves Park provide the opportunity for time out from domestic life. No walls. No television or radio blaring. Green grass and trees. The promise of springtime stirring. Thanks again John Graves. Gone but not forgotten.

13 comments:

  1. Sheffield is a city blessed by some excellent parks. I suspect this is the largest. It's not one I know though so thanks for the look round.

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    1. As a Sheffield council tax payer, you have my express permission to stroll round Graves Park at a time of your own choosing.

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    2. That is a very generous offer. Thank you.

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  2. If all rich people were like Mr. Graves, a lot of problems could be solved.
    I went and had a look at the older posts you linked to, and found the one about the German cemetery. Quite poignant for me; at the moment, I am reading the memoirs of an American-born German lady who spent her childhood in war-torn Germany (WWII) and went back to the US with her family afterwards. Her father was drawn into the army as cannon fodder during the last years of the war and was then reported to have become a POW in England. I have not finished the book yet and don't know whether the little girl will see her Dad again; his name could just as well be on one of the tombstones you showed.

    Also, of your previous post about Mr. Graves, I learnt two new words: deciduous and munificent. Thank you!

    Graves park looks like a great place to spend an afternoon at, no matter whether one of the lazy sort or going for a run, or maybe both; first the run, and then resting on a blanket on the grass. I love afternoons at the park and have posted about them a few times myself, for instance here:
    http://librarianwithsecrets.blogspot.de/2011/08/afternoon-in-park.html

    (Sorry for the long comment, but I became so intrigued by this and your older posts that I went straight into babbling mode.)

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  3. Thanks for the link to your 2011 park blogpost Arian - close to Ludwigsburg Palace. You look nicer in reality than your avatar! Aren't parks slightly odd things - linked to urban living and nineteenth century civic wealth? They are invariably manicured, more orderly representations of half-remembered countryside where Nature is more disorderly. The psychology of that phenomenon is interesting.

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  4. Is there an ordinance that all domesticated animals must be named Bob? Must be very confusing.

    Lovely park. I don't know what large cities would be without them. The largest park in Denver also houses the Denver Zoo and the Museum of Nature and History. But there are many, many smaller parks throughout that are well used and well loved.

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    1. Yes MT, all domesticated animals in Great Britain are called Bob. I guess that Denver is a lovely city. If you were still blogging you could tell us all about it.

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  5. All those good things and maybe a little quiet.

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    1. That's right Red. Parks can offer us a little peace and quiet - stepping out of the hustle and bustle of city life.

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  6. Arrrrrrh my sort of place...the rare breeds park

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    1. Surprised they didn't trap you to show off to the public!

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  7. That was no weary blogger; it was the spirit of J.G. Graves enjoying his park, by parking himself on the park bench.

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    1. It was a bit parky. Later he told me his name was Parker and he used to be a park keeper. He had left his parka coat in his parked car.

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