This month, our Calder Story comes from Mary White, a local resident who has grown up and raised her own family in this park and now, as a group member and volunteer, finds herself part of The Reader family at Calderstones.
Just like Jane Austen’s Miss Bates in Emma, we love a good wedding and the season is very much upon us. Since Calderstones Mansion House has played host to many wonderful weddings over the years, we thought it would be nice to hear about some of the happy occasions from the happy couples.
With football pitches and tennis courts, the playground, botanical gardens to explore and ducks to be fed at the lake, Calderstones Park has been a pull for families in the local area and from across the city since it first opened to the public in 1905. And with the recent additions of The Storybarn and The Reader Café and Ice Cream Parlour, families can spend an enjoyable day in the park come rain or as has been the case over the past few weeks, shine.
The recent heatwave has seen a hubbub of life around Calderstones, especially for the glorious weather at The Big Reader Picnic earlier this month, and now the school holidays are in full swing the queues at The Reader Ice Cream Parlour are only going to get longer!
We love hearing stories about the generations of families who have passed their school holidays picnicking on the grass, playing football and in bygone days, boating on the lake.
Earlier this year, Sheila De Groot from Gateacre told us her family memories of Calderstones Park:
“I think the Reader in the park is brilliant. I have taken my grandson to the Storybarn and we’ll sit and have an ice cream from the parlour. I walk my two dogs here as well.
I wasn’t from this area originally – I lived in Woolton for a while and I had my children so I’d come here regularly. I taught my children to ride their bikes here. My son actually fell into…there’s a bit of a moat isn’t there? I remember he was cycling along and I was like ‘watch out!’ and my son just riding right into it. I just thought ‘Oh my god!’.
I bring my son’s son here now, he’s not old enough yet but I’ll teach him to ride his bike here most probably. It’s a lovely park. I’ve been coming for quite a long time.”
Sheila’s story reminded us of a few other recollections that have been shared with us over the past few years. One memory, shared as part of the Calderstones Open Day we held in the Mansion House back in 2013 read:
“This half term my daughter who is 8yrs old has learned how to ride her bike, so today we are making memories of this by riding around the park and having some great outdoor fun! Calderstones has always been wonderful fun since I was a child, out and about playing in nature and now we do the same here with our children. Nature, picnics, bike rides and laughs.”
In 2015, we also spoke to Audrey Moulton who grew up in Wavertree and regularly walked to the park as a child. She recalled the lake, feeding the ducks, “they seemed to have been there forever” and sitting on the back of a boat with her sister while her day would row, “I was sorry when they stopped doing that“.
Do you have a story to tell?
Did you attend this performance? Or have you seen any other performances in the Park? Perhaps you attended a wedding at the Mansion House or used to visit the park as a child. We want to hear your stories.
To get in touch and be part of the story email email@example.com
Can you help?
The refurbishment of Calderstones is a massive project and we need a lot of help! Do you have skills you can share? There’s lots of ways to get involved: