2th May, 2019 Recreation Grounds 2.

A minute of the Parks Committee of Hull Municipal Corporation in 1906 refers to a plan to upgrade the Cannon Street Recreation Ground with perimeter planting and fence and further improvements to ‘meet by-laws’. These improvements were still being discussed in December of that year.

Such references evidence an important point, which is that the Municipal Authority was seeking all opportunities to manage green areas within the town boundary for the benefit of the inhabitants. The Authority was prepared to invest an increasing proportion of their income from public funds on this public resource and by doing so showing that, in this context, the great Public Health debate of the late 19th century was being respected. At this time (1906) the benefits to the population of municipal parks, recreation grounds and civil cemeteries were viewed in the same light. Green spaces were important and not to be neglected.

In the minutes for 1907 there are references to a cycle parade (see above) being held in Dansom Lane Recreation Ground and to a ‘horse parade’ on another occasion. There are also references to meetings (presumably open air), religious services and concerts being requested to be held in the recreation grounds, these usually coming from religious groups or from specific chapels.

In 1908 it was recommended a sand-pit be installed in Cannon Street Recreation Ground as a play facility for young children. Later in that year, and on a more negative note, the owner of a property adjacent to Dansom Lane R.G. had sent the Authority a letter stating that ‘lads and young men’ were throwing stones, climbing on his fence and using offensive language. One might then worry as to the future of the sandpit!

An interesting reference at the same time referred to a recreation ground in Stoneferry, the minute also referencing a ‘village green’ and ‘pinfold’ in the same community. Clearly Stoneferry as a satellite rural community was beginning to be swallowed-up by urban sprawl, this fostered by linear industrial development along the east bank of the River Hull.

In June 1909 three ‘extra’ swings were installed in Cannon Street Recreation Ground.