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#920410 - 8th Jan 2015 7:45pm New Birkenhead Park bandstand proposal
Mark Online   Reading


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Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 21027
Loc: Wirral


Birkenhead Park could have a bandstand again under new plans put forward by a supporters’ group.

The Friends of Birkenhead Park are considering applying for funding to reinstate the feature in the country’s first publicly funded park, more than 60 years after the last Birkenhead Park bandstand was dismantled.

The park’s first bandstand, made of cast iron, was formally opened in the Lower Park on June 10, 1885 with a concert by the band of the 1st Cheshire Engineers Volunteers.

It was replaced in 1929 by a more ambitious bandstand which was demolished after the Second World War.

The bandstand reflected the park’s historic links with Central Park in New York.

Designer, Frederick Law Olmstead, who had been inspired by his two visits to Birkenhead Park in 1850 and 1852, was one of the first to emphasise the benefits of “good music” in a public park – which he saw allowed citizens to escape the “irritating effect” of urban life.

Sally Dobbing, community projects manager, said: “The organisation of the concerts in the park was entrusted to a group of women, who played a key role in shaping the programmes and securing better facilities, including the provision of seats.

“There is clear evidence that the opportunity of listening to “good music” was deeply appreciated by the ‘working people’ of Birkenhead.

“By the late-1920s, however, the original bandstand was no longer deemed to be satisfactory and it was replaced in 1929 by a more modern structure that had been designed ‘scientifically’ to reflect the music to the audience without the loss of the ‘quieter and more delicate passages’.

“This proved to be immensely popular, but the bandstand was severely damaged during the Blitz of 1940-41 and although concerts continued to be played in the park in the post-war period, it was no longer adequately maintained and was subsequently demolished.”

In the early 1960s, concerts were still held in the Upper Park on Sunday afternoons, but these were discontinued because of the cost.

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#920822 - 11th Jan 2015 12:37pm Re: New Birkenhead Park bandstand proposal [Re: Mark]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5349
Loc: Birkenhead
Went to the summer music sessions at the bandstand in New Brighton/Seacombe, great. It's whether they also organise bands to play there, if it's just going to be left to rot then it's a waste of time and money. By the way, I remember the old one. It wasn't used.


Edited by BandyCoot (11th Jan 2015 12:39pm)
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#920831 - 11th Jan 2015 1:21pm Re: New Birkenhead Park bandstand proposal [Re: Mark]
dustymclean Offline

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Registered: 18th Sep 2013
Posts: 321
Loc: birkenhead
all things being equal(not)a town leading the fight against hunger building a band stand in a park recently refurnished to the tune of millions makes me wonder about the sanity of our town administration.

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#921082 - 12th Jan 2015 8:51pm Re: New Birkenhead Park bandstand proposal [Re: Mark]
Greenwood Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 20th May 2011
Posts: 601
Loc: Greasby
Lovely idea and I can understand the Friends wanting to reinstate one, but... will any grant cover the concert costs, maintenance etc? Is it a priority for Birkenhead as a whole? Maybe not.

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