A peek into the past!

At our Greenhead Park in Pictures exhibition last September, lots of people shared their memories of the park with us. We were particularly excited to be shown a diary kept by Charles Edward Turner, Greenhead Park’s Head Gardener in the 1920s, by his great grand daughter Linda Helliwell.

Charles Edward Turner
Charles at work in his garden at home

Thanks to modern day technology, you can now take a look inside Charles Turner’s thick black notebook. His detailed records give us a unique insight into the weather and the daily tasks carried out by gardening staff in the 1920s. Their work included raising plants from seeds and cuttings, providing floral displays at a wide range of events and locations, and carrying out many different maintenance jobs. Sweeping snow off the ice on the lake so that people could skate appears as a regular winter task, and Charles records that the park was “open at night for skating till 10” on February 28, 1929! It’s fascinating to be able to look back to how things were in past times compared to the present day.

We are very grateful to Microform for digitising the diary for us for a nominal fee, and to Linda Helliwell for giving us permission to share her great grandfather’s chronicle with a wider audience. Linda also kindly provided some family information about Charles Edward Turner to sit alongside his notebook. He certainly sounds like quite a character!

If anyone has any items like this diary that could add to our knowledge of the history of Greenhead Park, we would love to hear from them.