Gates restored as part of park celebrations

Stanley Park main gates are being painted
Stanley Park main gates are being painted
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Stanley Park’s ornate main gates on West Park Drive are being returned to their former glory as work has started to prepare to repaint their intricate decorative features in black and gold.

The work signals the start of preparations to celebrate the park’s 90th summer since its opening.

Residents are being warned the gates will be closed daily at 5.30pm for up to two weeks from Monday while the work is carried out.

Pedestrian access will still be available, and alternative parking will be available at the Sports Centre on West Park Drive.

The £5,000 cost of the work is being met by the Friends of Stanley Park.

Elaine Smith, chairman of the Friends of Stanley Park, said: “We continually strive to raise funds through events and activities in Stanley Park to generate much needed funds to support the Parks Department in the maintenance of our Grade II listed heritage park.

“I am really pleased the Friends Group is able to provide the monies for this much needed refurbishment in time for our birthday celebration.”

The impressive gates were opened by the 17th Early of Derby on October 22 1926 with a golden key used in the lock.

The Mayor Thomas Bickerstaff and 80 other Mayors and Mayoresses joined local and national dignitaries to mark the occasion.

The Friends of Stanley Park along with Blackpool Council and other organisations are planning a fun-filled summer of events for the town’s residents and visitors which will be announced shortly.

The celebrations will culminate in the official reopening of the gates on July 8 by the 19th Earl of Derby, who is the grandson of the 17th Earl of Derby.

Schools are also being invited to join in with the event, and guests will dress in 1920s attire to recreate the early days of the park.

The Friends group is interested in hearing from anyone who has memorabilia or pictures from the opening.