Historic park set for a spruce-up
For more than a century, its elaborate iron gates have welcomed people into the manicured gardens beyond.
Named after the man whose bequest made it possible, Pollard Park in Blenheim is one of the region’s most historic reserves.
Work started on Thursday to give it a fresh look. As part of the revamp, a new entranceway will see the landmark gates moved.
A spokeswoman from Marlborough District Council says the $488,539 project will take around six weeks. The park will only be accessible through the golf club entrance while the work is under way.
‘‘The old gates and plaques will be removed but they will be retained and used elsewhere within the park.
‘‘The main entry is being realigned with Curry St to enable better connectivity with State Highway 6.
‘‘The project is not being carried out just to accommodate cruise ship passengers. However, some of the existing car parks on Parker St will be redesigned to incorporate a bus park,’’ she says.
In 1914, William Pollard donated $4000 to Blenheim Borough Council to enable them to buy an area of land from Waterlea Farm to establish a park.
Pollard, the then owner of the Delta Sheep Station in the Waihopai Valley, also left more money to the council in his will and Waterlea Park was renamed in his honour.
The Parker St park is a popular attraction for visitors and tourists alike. The 24.6 ha site includes wooded parkland, a stream, golf course, play park, rose gardens, tennis courts and pathways.
In 1937, coronation acorns from the royal park surrounding Windsor Castle in England were planted to commemorate the coronation of King George VI.
‘‘The revamp aims to improve traffic and pedestrian safety through new paths and landscaping to upgrade and modernise the entrance. A bus stop will also be added outside the park.
‘‘The work should result in minimal traffic disruption and be completed during winter, before the park becomes busier in the spring.
‘‘The current main entrance on Parker St will not be accessible once the project is complete,’’ says the spokeswoman.
The historic gates at Pollard Park will be removed and used elsewhere as part of an upgrade to the entrance.