BELLE VUE PARK THROUGH THE YEARS
Belle Vue Park has been a special part of Penarth for over 100 years. Find out all about its history here:
1907: The idea for a park begins
In 1907, Penarth Council was looking for a site for a community bowling green and gardens. The Council decided that the land opposite their offices in Albert Road, which originally contained a quarry would be ideal. The quarry had been so deep that, after heavy rain in 1877, two brothers were drowned there.
1912: The land is acquired
In 1912 the land is acquired for use as recreational space from the Earl of Plymouth.
1913: Planning begins and a name is decided
In July 1913, Penarth Council decided that the sum of £1,800 would be borrowed for the purpose of: ‘procuring and laying out as a pleasure ground, the land in front of the Council Offices.’ Town Surveyor, Edgar Evans, designed and laid out the park. The contractor chosen was Lewis Bros.
Later that year, the Council announced that the new pleasure ground would be called Belle Vue Gardens, named after Belle Vue Cottage which originally stood on the site occupied by the council offices.
1914: The Gardens are opened
Construction of Belle Vue Gardens, which included
a sloping park and a bowling green, lasted most of
1914 and it was opened in the September of that
Soon after opening, a groundsman/caretaker
and an assistant were appointed.
This pictures shows Len Powell who was employed
as the groundsman from 1926 to 1955.
1919: Complaints about the bowling green
The condition of the bowling green was a problem throughout 1919 and 1920 until a groundsman was found who had the skills to maintain the green to the necessary standard.
1927: Belle Vue Park opens on Sundays
In July 1927, the Council agreed that Belle Vue Park be open on Sundays during the summer months, between 2:30pm and 8:00pm.
1934: Albert Primary School allowed games in the park
The Headmistress of Albert Road Infants School was granted permission to take a class for games in Belle Vue Park. In the same year, the gate into the Park opposite Albert Primary School was installed, probably for easy access for the classes.
1939-1945: The War Years
During WWII, the entire park, except for the bowling green, was turned into allotments so that local residents could grow vegetables and fruit and an Air Raid Precautions warden’s post was constructed. In 1943, two prefabricated huts were erected in the park for the use of fire station personnel.
1946: A children’s playground is planned
When the war was over, it was decided that a children’s
playground should be created within Belle Vue Park
once the allotments were no longer required.
The children had several years to wait. It wasn’t until
1949 before notice was given to the allotment holders
and in the 1950’s a playground area was designated.
1969: A pool for Belle Vue!
Plans for a paddling pool for Belle Vue Park were
considered, but abandoned by the Welsh Office due
to budget restrictions.
1972: A new pavilion is built
After many years of discussing the need for a larger
pavilion, funding was passed by the Council and £9,000
was secured for a brand new building.
2000: Friends of Belle Vue is formed
Friends of Belle Vue Park was formed by a group of local residents to raise the standards of Belle Vue Park which had fallen into poor condition. Immediate improvements were implemented including overnight locking of the park, new gates and dog-proof fencing, new path surfaces, tree planting, refurbishment of benches and the development of a new, safe, inviting play area for your children.
2014: Belle Vue Park celebrates 100 years
To mark the centenary of Belle Vue Park, Friends of Belle Vue, with the help of children from Albert Primary School, filled and buried a time capsule in the park and designed and created a centenary mosaic.