Guy Street Park - Guy Street, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 30.103 W 000° 05.160
30U E 702241 N 5709646
Quick Description: This plaque is in a pleasant, little park to the south of Guy's Hospital in London.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/25/2012 11:17:11 AM
Waymark Code: WMEA5T
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Brentorboxer
Views: 2

Long Description:

The Friends of Guy Street Park website (visit link) and is need of updating, tells us:

"Brief history of Guy Street Park
In the eighteenth century, the land on which most of Guy Street Park stands was still open fields and tenter grounds. It was bought by the Trustees of Guy's Hospital and used as a burial ground for many years until it was closed by official order in the middle of the nineteenth century. No longer wanted for its original purpose, it was leased to a builder for his business.

The Bermondsey Vestry had for some time been attempting to obtain a site on which to build a public recreation ground for its overcrowded parishioners. With the help of the London County Council and funding from various organisations, the land was obtained. Nelson Recreation Ground, as it was called, was opened on March 30th 1899 with a ceremony attended by local dignitaries. The park continued in use for many years. It was damaged in the Second World War but refurbished and kept in order.

However, by the end of the twentieth century, it became run-down and in need of complete renovation. Local people, the Pool of London Partnership and Southwark Council, have combined to create a new phase in its history.

The Redevelopment of Guy Street Park
In recent years Guy Street Park had fallen into a semi derelict state. Although it was still well used by local people there were growing concerns for community safety from the lack of lighting and increasing drug dealing and drug use in the park. In winter 2000 one of the local tenant groups Crosby, Lockyer and Hamilton lobbied the Southwark Council to do something about the park. In Spring 2001 Southwark Council consulted the community on what they would like to see in the park. The community wanted the following things.

The park should contain:

  • Community garden - a place for relaxation and community gardening
  • Multi court - marked up for football and basketball and some where for young people and adults to play sport
  • Children's play area - fun and colourful
  • Grassed space - informal play and relaxing

Things to improve in the park:

  • Main access path
  • Lighting
  • The boundary between the park and car park
  • Remove the derelict shelter

The park has been closed for a year for the redevelopment and will reopen in April 2003.

Friends of Guy Street Park (FOGSP)
The Friends of Guy Street Park was set up by concerned local residents. Funding for the improvements is provided by Southwark Council, the Pool of London Partnership,the Arts Council England and Cross River Partnership. Together with FOGSP they organised a series of consultations, held locally. All who attended were able to give their views on the proposed works for the park and decide what they would like to see there. When the works are completed, the park facilities will include a multi-court; young children's play area, the Lightbox project and a community garden.

Guy Street park will provide an oasis for the community. The community garden offers a chance for healthy activity or simply enjoying the therapy of fragrance and colour. Residents, visitors, children, older people and those working locally should all find something to please them. FOGSP group works with representatives of Southwark Council, making suggestions on how best to use funding, set priorities and investigate possibilities. FOGSP is in contact with other local organisations and is planning the future maintenance and development of the park and community garden. The group welcomes new members. It meets monthly and held its first Annual General Meeting in October 2001.

The plaque, mounted on a wall, reads:

"Guy Street Park

Originally open fields, the land on which most of Guy Street Park stands belonged to Guy's Hospital in the 18th century. It was used as a burial ground until it was closed and leased to a builder.

By the end of the 19th century, Bermondsey Vestry needed a public recreation ground for its overcrowded inhabitants. With the help of the London County Council and other funding, the land was purchased. It was named Nelson Recreation Ground and opened on March 30th 1899.

Maintained by Bermondsey Borough Council, the park was in use for many years, known locally by the name of nearby Kipling Street. Despite war damage, it was refurbished and extended. By the 1990s, it had become run-down and needed complete renovation. Local people formed the Friends of Guy Street Park. Principally supported by the Pool of London Partnership and Southwark Council, they helped to create the new Guy Street Park, which opened in April 2003.

Type of Historic Marker: Plaque

Historical Marker Issuing Authority: Pool Of London/Southwark Council

Age/Event Date: 3/30/1899

Related Website: [Web Link]

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