Paddling Pool in Rowntree Park
The original wading pool was not very deep and had a sandy beach. There was a horseshoe canopy that surrounded it, that was where often families sat and watched their children. The water was constantly changed, which was facilitated by a wind pump and the overflow fed into the lake. Supervision became harder in WW2 and the pool ended up infested by bloodsucker worms and full of broken glass.
The images here show children paddling in the lake (not a wading pool). Definitely not advised now!
Ice Skating in Rowntree Park
Cold winters and a frozen lake meant that for a few weeks Rowntree Park had a skating rink! In the 1940s and 1950s, if the lake froze over, the council used to provide floodlighting and fairy lights for skating in the evenings. Skates could be hired too. The photo’s show skating in the park up until the 1980s.
In 1962/3 after a flood of the park, the water really froze in that cold cold winter. There were 13 weeks of freezing temperatures and 18” of ice in the park. It has been said that under Richardson Street there was a sheet of ice that people walked under like an archway!