Park is a ‘shadow of its former self’

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When I was a boy back in the early 80s, the Valley Gardens off Lower Oxford Street and Lower Cambridge Street in Castleford was a mecca for families.

Kids had swings, slides and a roundabout, even a paddling pool, families would meet with picnics.

Flowers bloomed, it was a lovely place. So nice a place you could buy postcards in G&Gs and Memory Lane in the town centre.

Then in the 90s as part of the Smawthorne renewal scheme the park was given a revamp.

But now sadly, the park is a just a shadow of its former self. The children’s playing area is left almost derelict, the paddling pool is long gone (probably health and safety jobsworths), nearly all the flowers have gone and the place is often awash with litter.

Today there is space for a water feature, plenty of green space to bed in new flowers, install new benches and children’s play apparatus etc.

It is so sad as this place has so much potential. If the area was given a fresh lease of life I am sure families would flock back and in these cash-strapped times it would serve its purpose as a free place to visit.

I wonder if Wakefield Council has plans for the place?

Ian Dixon

Lower Oxford Street,