Digging for victory at park

Coun David O'Hara and coun Tony Lee with Karl Eastwood from Eclipse Building Contractors at the start of the Watson Road Park revamp.
Coun David O'Hara and coun Tony Lee with Karl Eastwood from Eclipse Building Contractors at the start of the Watson Road Park revamp.
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Work has begun on a £50,000 upgrade of a park in South Shore.

The improvements to Watson Road Park are being made ahead of what is expected to be a busy 2014 at the site.

A year of events are being planned to be held in the park in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.

The park’s role in the Great War was significant as it featured replicas of the trenches at Loos and Arras, to allow the general public to experience at first hand the conditions being endured by their loved ones fighting on the Western Front.

The improvements will include a new building in the centre of the park which will feature an upgraded toilet block as well as new disabled facilities, which will be ready in time for next year’s commemorations.

The project has been partially paid for by funding from the ward budget allocated to Waterloo councillors David O’Hara and Tony Lee, who visited the park yesterday to oversee the work.

Coun O’Hara said: “We’re extending the toilet block and putting a disabled toilet in.

“It’ll be beneficial to the park and the people in the area too.

“Of course next year they’re putting trenches in here to mark the First World War and they’ll be putting a display on here too.”

The work is being carried out by Blackpool-based Eclipse Developments.

Coun Lee added: “It’s been very kind of them to come down and help us out.

“It’s a job for the community and they’re doing it for the right sort of price.”

The trenches, which were completed in 1916, were originally dug to help train members of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment for conditions they were likely to encounter in France.

But they later became something of a tourist attraction.

Official details of next year’s events in the park have yet to be announced.