I was first aware of Cotteridge Park in 1930 when I was 6 years old. The Park was a Children’s paradise, full of fun and laughter. There were rules of conduct, enforced by a uniformed park keeper. The park was enclosed by iron railings and at dusk the bell rang and the gates were locked. Cycling was prohibited after 10am.

There were both concrete and grass Tennis Courts, very well maintained, with an hourly fee charged; a putting green where a golf club and ball could be hired for a small fee, and a Crown Bowling Green.

There were two shelters, one large and one small, very useful in bad weather, and a bandstand, sadly all vandalised and demolished.

There were various annual events, Ten Acres Co -Op Society organised for their members children a tea party, with a small cardboard box full of things to eat, an orange squash drink and an ice cream. Cotteridge organised a carnival, floats and tableaux lined the streets and jazz bands from other areas competed for a prize. they were dressed in exotic costumes and played bazookas and beat drums as they marched around the streets, before gathering in the park. A fairground with dodgems, roundabouts and side stalls attracted a large crowd, who paid a small entrance fee. All of this ended in 1939 with the start of the war.

Air raid shelters were dug on the higher ground and the WAAF arrived with a barrage balloon.

The fair returned to the Park after the war, but this was not organised by the local people and it attracted a yob element, so at the request of the locals this ended.

Later the railings were removed, and some vandalism occurred to the young trees. The red may trees a feature of the Park grew old and died, and were never replaced, neither was the drinking fountain…

John Eynon
Heathcote Road, Cotteridge
March 1997

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