Au­tumn leaves in city’s Leazes Park, 1963

The Chronicle - - Nostalgia -

AU­TUMN is here - the “sea­son of mists and mel­low fruit­ful­ness” as beau­ti­fully de­scribed by the poet, Keats.

He might well have added the words “... and fall­ing leaves”.

Our pho­to­graph from 55 years ago shows a gar­dener at New­cas­tle’s Leazes Park do­ing his best to sweep them up.

The re­gion’s very first pub­lic park dates back 145 years.

The folk of New­cas­tle first wan­dered into newly opened Leazes Park two days be­fore Christ­mas, 1873.

Many of the re­gion’s fine pub­lic parks emerged around that time amid the smoke and noise of Vic­to­rian in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion, on land of­ten be­stowed by wealthy, land-own­ing phi­lan­thropists.

Tak­ing 16 years to com­plete, it was pro­vided for the ‘work­ing men of New­cas­tle-upon-Tyne and its vicin­ity’ that they should be granted ‘ready ac­cess to some open ground for the pur­pose of health and re­cre­ation’.

In 2004, the park was re­stored to its former glory fol­low­ing a £4.9m re­vamp.

Work in­cluded the rein­tro­duc­tion of or­na­men­tal gate­ways and bound­ary rail­ings, tree plant­ing and the restora­tion of the lake.

A gar­dener sweeps up au­tumn leaves at Leazes Park, New­cas­tle, Oc­to­ber 14, 1963

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