ONE ‘ex-pat’ of Huddersfield who keeps close tabs on what happens in Kirklees is Raymond Prior of Stockport.
He’s been following the refurbishment of Greenhead Park with interest – piqued recently by references to the pond.
“In 1909 or 1910, my mother Doreen, who would have been aged seven, fell into the pond while trying to sail her boat,” he said.
“It was the middle of winter. An elderly man had broken the ice for her to sail her boat, and she slipped on the edge and plunged into the water.
“According to Vivien Hirst, my late aunt, who wrote about the incident in her book ‘Family Of Four’, she could easily have drowned. Vivien would have been aged four.”
Raymond, an author himself, published Family Of Four and holds the copyright.
Here are some of Vivien’s memories of the park:
‘Before school days, and after, during the holidays, we spent a great deal of time in Greenhead Park.
‘(It) was large with several good places for children to hide. There were handsome terraces with many steps, and as we grew older we used to wriggle through the square holes in the stone balustrade, dropping on to the grass on the other side above massive rhododendron bushes, where we could scarcely be seen.
‘The park guardian was ‘Bobby’ Smith, a retired policeman, very big and portly, with a bulbous nose.
‘On one side of the (larger) pond were picturesque grottos where we sheltered when it rained.
‘In a secluded part of the park was a red-stone-built fountain, with the figure of Rebecca pouring water from her jug into a small well.’
Raymond guesses that many people will remember these or similar aspects of the park, though some – such as the statue of Rebecca, the pond-side grotto and the ornamental pond itself – later disappeared.