The Serpentine lakes have been a popular attraction since the Park opened. Paddling was allowed in part of the lake for a period of time from when the park opened up until around the 1970s. Children would also often sail small boats on the lake and from the 1940s York model Boat Club would hold regattas and displays at the park, this continued into the 2000s.
By the 1950s paddle boats were very popular in the park. At one time, some of the little boats were named after the Seven Dwarfs. You can imagine being called in;
“Come back Dopey!”.
Sadly the 1980s saw the end of the paddle boats as many were beyond repair. There are also no staff based in the park and the ponds aren’t regularly cleaned like they used to be.
(Images from archives plus R Holland and RFLee)