Friends of Haworth Central Park
Welcome to Friends of Haworth Central Park
We are the dedicated local guardians for this beautiful open space, an English Heritage Grade 2 Listed Park. The Friends group started in 2006, working in partnership with Bradford City Council and also Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council.
You don’t have to be a keen gardener to become a friend. Yes, some of our members do like to get dirt under their fingernails, but supporting the park means much more than that.
Since 2006 our group and partners have worked to improve the amenities in Central Park and to make it a more inclusive area for relaxation and entertainment and an enjoyable space for both visitors and residents of all ages and abilities.
How to Join the Friends of Haworth Central Park
Supporting our group is easy, enjoyable and can make a world of difference to preserving our beautiful Grade 2 listed park. Annual Membership is £5.00 per person for individual membership and £10.00 per business for corporate membership, due on 1st August. Please contact our Membership Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
You will be contacted by the Membership Secretary who will arrange for your membership and collect your payment.
Your financial support helps to pay our mandatory annual Public Liability Insurance and goes towards funding events and new projects.
Members receive a window sticker to display stating that they are a Friend of the Park and may attend our monthly meetings.
We also have a Facebook page where general news is posted.
Members receive regular updates by email about the Park. Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month, 7.30pm at Parkside Social Club on Butt Lane. The meeting minutes are circulated by email to all members.
We are a strong and active group, and receive high levels of support from both Bradford Council and Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council in maintaining and improving our beautiful park
We do hope you will join us and look forward to any suggestions and ideas you may have about the facilities in our lovely park.
What the Friends Have Achieved Since 2006
In the early 1970’s the Bandstand in Central Park was removed for repair. This was about the time that there was a major shakeup in local authorities and Keighley UDC was subsumed into Bradford Metropolitan District Council.
What happened to it we do not know, but the bandstand was never seen again. This left an overgrown plinth, leaving a need that was confirmed by a petition in a few local shops which gathered over 300 signatures in the first week.
This became our first crusade, to have a new bandstand in the park.
Eight years and £75,000 later a new Performing Arts Structure was officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Bradford in June 2014. The difference from the traditional bandstand being that it was at ground level and had two of the upright post removed to create a stage and so could be used for all kinds of different entertainment, not just band concerts.
In 2006 the Bradford Parks Dept. suggested the new friends group should apply for a green flag. This is an annual award only given to the best parks and open spaces that show improvement. We are delighted to say that we have retained our green flag every year since!
During the austerity cuts, a number of our flower beds were grassed over. With kind help from our Parish Council, new beds have been planted to reinstate the top of the park.
Haworth Central Park Events
Until the pandemic prevented all gatherings, the park has seen children’s events, band concerts, pop groups, Indian dancers, poetry readings, singers, jazz and ballroom dancing, discos, birthday parties as well as major events such as entertainment when the Tour de France came through Haworth, the 1940’s weekends, the 1960’s weekends, Christmas Markets and many smaller events.
Just as the country is recovering and slowly returning to normal, so will our events. This year we are planning an event to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Please see the Events calendar for event dates throughout the year.
The Memory Garden
Bradford Council had been concerned for some time that people were placing garden seats and inappropriate plants on the moors above Haworth in memory of their loved ones. The seats were of varying quality and some of the plants were potentially damaging to this protected moorland.
Our local Bradford councillors donated some funds to the Friends Group to create a viable alternative and the Memory Garden was born.
Students at Keighley Technical College built the pillars and flower beds at the entrance to the garden and a grant provided by the Parish Council financed a stainless steel sculpture in the form of a bird’s wing by local artist Craig Dyson, to which visitors to the park are welcome to fit padlocks in memory of their loved ones.
For any other memorials such as trees, benches or plantings either within in the park or memory garden; in the first instance donors must email the Friends Group at email@example.com
Over the pillars at the entrance is a stainless steel arch to guide those looking for a place for quiet contemplation. Seats in the garden were made by a young Haworth Stonemason who tragically passed away, providing places of rest and reflection for visitors.
A wild flower garden in a fenced off area is work in progress and a sensory bed is just inside the entrance, to be within reach of those with reduced mobility.
The Bowling Club
The Haworth Bowling Club has a rich and vibrant history. The Club was formed in 1932 and was located just along Spring Head Road. In May 1937, the green was relocated into its current prime location within Central Park – Haworth, where a tablet was erected to commemorate the opening of the bowling green and pavilion on the coronation day of their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Interestingly though, women were only admitted in 1960.
We play a form of Lawn Bowls called Crown Green Bowls. This is normally played on a lawned square of up to 2000sq metres with short, mowed grass. But differs from other forms of Lawn Bowls in that the center of the green can be up to 300mm higher than the edges and bowling can take place in any direction. This makes reaching the target “Jack” significantly more difficult.
The main aim of the club, then and now is to provide social and sporting recreation for people of Haworth.
- Flexibility within the individuals own physical abilities.
- Balance, Body Core & Mobility through Muscular Skeletal exercise.
- Hand – eye coordination,
- Mental Health,
- Social health and wellbeing,
- Fresh air outdoor activity surrounded by the beautiful Grade 2 Listed Heritage, Green Flag Park, bringing about relaxation and peacefulness.
A Short History of Haworth Central Park
Old photos show the Board School on Butt Lane adjoining a field. After some years of negotiation, the fields were finally sold to Haworth Urban District Council on 17th November 1926 and the park was born. Finance for the park was aided by a government grant from the health ministry for providing public open air spaces. All the work creating the park was given to locally unemployed people.
The park was officially opened in May 1929; the tennis courts in 1930 and the Bowling Green and Pavilion on May12th 1937, the Coronation Day of King George VI. It had railings all round with gates that were locked at sunset and opened again 7.30 am. There was a Park Keeper and regular gardening staff. The first public concert on the original bandstand was played by the Bradford Working Men’s Club Brass Band on June 30th 1929.
In 1937, Haworth UDC was subsumed into Keighley Town Council.
The railings and gates vanished during the war years.
The Bandstand disappeared in the 1970’s’. It was supposedly taken to be repaired, but was never seen again. Ownership changed again during the local authority reorganization of 1974 when Bradford became a metropolitan authority, who own the park today.
The Green Flag
This prestigious international award is presented to parks and open spaces that constantly achieve the highest standards. Judging both then and now is undertaken by outside experts. Originally biennial, it is now an annual award.
When the Friends group was formed in 2006 it was suggested the park was entered for the competition, mainly to see what needed to be done. To our pleased surprise, Haworth Central Park won its first green flag and since then we have maintained our Green Flag status at every judging. The flag is flown on the flagpole beside the main gate. Each time it is awarded a new flag is supplied and has been flown with pride since 2006.
Get in touch
By e-mail, contact form, telephone or the Contact Point