We know that when Joseph Rowntree gave Rowntree Park to the people of York he did so as a memorial to those who died in the First World War and for the benefit of generations of York people.
At the time he would not have known just how much York people have benefited. Time and priorities have changed but the Park has always been a source of peace and tranquillity for those:
- Who would each day have a gentle walk round the lake, possibly feed the ducks and revel in the wonderful flower borders
- Who would want to visit the Ravens and Rabbits in their cages
- Who would come to the Park as often as possible to have a quiet game of bowls on the wonderful greens maintained by the Park staff
- Who would be a member of the Park Tennis Club, playing two or three times a week and helping to run the annual Tennis Tournament which was always such a success
- Who would take their children to the Cafe for a hand made sandwich or Ebor ice-cream
- Who would fish in the lake (when the Park Keeper was not about!)
- Whose children would run free
- Who would enjoy the wonderful top-class Brass Band Concerts on a Sunday afternoon.
All of this, in the 1940s and early 1950s, was looked after by a Park Keeper, always well turned out in his uniform, together with his team of gardeners and greenkeepers.
Rowntree Park provided that haven of peace and tranquillity which people needed after their experience of austerity and warfare.
Thank you for your vision Joseph Rowntree.