Bakewell Park – A Short History

New Seating for Bakewell Street Park 2021

Its around twelve years since the Friends of Bakewell Street Park Trust was established and as a result secured major investment for the huge job of replacing the old unsafe paths, completely restoring the old bowing green pavilion and clearing many self-setting and dangerous trees. In addition. the team worked hard in securing additional funding for picnic benches and seating on the lower section of the park.

To enable the Registered Charity to be surrendered, the objectives of the Trust being done, it was agreed that we should invest what money left in the purchase of two splendid seats.

The order was placed with the City Council who undertook to supply and secure the seats on the pathway running at the top of the old bowling green. This included setting them back from the path itself and cutting back the overgrowth to make them both accessible. The cost of these two seats and the work amounted to over £2,500, which is considered money well spent leaving nothing in the bank.

However, the Trust would like to purchase two new portable goal posts to encourage more use of the ground but have no funds left. We therefore appeal to you asking for donations towards the £150 required so they can be obtained ready for when its possible for young people to once more to enjoy.

If you wish to donate you can by bank transfer: TSB, Friends of Bakewell Street Park sort 30-93-88 account 00751487 but please message me when done. 

In advance, I thank you for your support. Dr Richard Talbot, Chairman.

Dr Oliver Bakewell visits Park

Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent Cllr Lilian Dodd welcomed the great grandson of Walter Bakewell, Dr Oliver Bakewell from Oxford who came to visit the park for the first time.  Dr Talbot the Chairman of The Friends of Bakewell Street Park Trust welcomed them both to the park. He give them a tour of the park and explained what had been achieved by the group over the years. Afternoon tea was then kindly  provided in the pavilion by Susan Talbot. It was Walter Bakewell who lived in Yeoville, Turner Street, (now Bakewell Street in 1938 who sold it to the City Council for the sum of £1,200.

The Lord Mayor of Stoke along with Susan, Janet and Oliver Bakewell.

Chairman of Bakewell group Richard, Oliver and the Lord Mayor.

History of Bakewell Street Park – formerly West End Bowling and Tennis Club by Dr Richard Talbot MBE

What is now known as Bakewell Street Park has a confusing initial history and comprises of three or four different plots of land that came together to form the park. The land was formerly Crown Land as part of the Royal Manor of Newcastle-under-Lyme and the records we have start way back in 1870 when Joseph Knight and Thomas Upall sold the land to William Keary.   Who in turn sold it to Dr. Alexander Morrison McAldowie in July 1897.

In the documents the four plots were described as “the south side of Turner Street (now Bakewell Street) containing 600 sq. yards.

The second plot or close of land which is the strip overlooking Regent Street.

The third section covers the area of the lower sloping ground where new picnic tables and benches have been installed.

The last section is the area of the bowling green and the far tennis court.

However, in May 1939 Mr. Wright of ‘Dormy House’ Regent Street disputed the land above his garden to the length of 23 feet which was sold to him by Mr. Shufflebotham. The Corporation upheld his claim that the strip of land belonged to him.

Mr. Walter Bakewell (Earthenware Manufacturer) of Yeoville House, Turner Street, purchased the house together with the plot of land to the rear containing 4734 square yards in 1911 from Mr. Yoxall which was described as part of the Oakhill Estate. The plot included the area which now includes the properties in Fairbank Avenue and a covenant was placed on the building that any future building in that area must be a certain distance from the boundary fence. The remaining land is what is now locally known as the Daffodil Field.

The land was laid out and tennis courts and bowling green formed which was leased out by Mr. Bakewell to the club, West End Bowling and Tennis Club.

This is acknowledged as a Bert Bentley photograph c1962

In the minute books of the Stoke Freehold and Building Society which was created in 1865 to develop that part of Stoke as an area for genteel persons properties, recorded in its minutes in May 1908 that “it would donate the sum of ten guineas for the purchase of seats on their new ground”. The park was first shown on the 1924 ordinance survey map.

Mr. Bakewell continued to lease out the park to the club until October 1938 when he sold it to the City of Stoke-on-Trent Corporation for the sum of £1,200

From then it became open to the general public and was one of the most successful parks in the city with three courts and its own resident bowling club.

In 2005 a group of enthusiasts got together to form ‘The Friends of Bakewell Street Park” Progress had been steady with a number of events being held in the park during the summer months. In a bid to ‘Awards for All’ the group have secured nearly £10,000 of funding to pay for a large marquee, metal picnic tables and seats, the services of a landscape architect to draw up the new plans and various other items.

The history compiled of Bakewell Part is © Richard Talbot