Radipole Park under Construction…1920’s-1930’s.

Radipole park and gardens is probably one of the ‘newer’ recreational areas in Weymouth.

It was constructed between the two World Wars, at a time when when the country was suffering from economic depression and the accompanying high unemployment.

The government of the day had set out loans to those councils that wanted to avail themselves of them to complete public works at very favourable rates.

Weymouth grasped this opportunity with both hands and set to expanding it’s land.

A problem that had thwarted the town for centuries, because Weymouth, or Melcombe Regis of old, was basically built out on a sand spit.

Surrounded by the sea on one side…and the Backwater (or Backsea as it was known) on the other.

In the 1920’s a grand scheme got under way…a large tract of land was reclaimed from what was once Radipole Lake.

It starting with the building of the new Westham Bridge and its enclosing sluice gates acting as a dam.

Basically turning the once tidal backwater into a fresh water lake.

P1030971

Then came the new Melcombe Regis Gardens along with their bowling green and tennis courts.

new bowling green melcombe regis

The last area to be created was Radipole Park and Gardens.

Even nowadays, sometimes after a period of heavy rain the playing fields don’t look too dissimilar to this photo taken in the 1930’s showing it under construction!

ALO420/019/04 1932

Fingers and toes firmly crossed, if we come through stage II of the Heritage Lottery Bid the flooded ground will be a thing of the past and a new wildlife-friendly bog garden making the most of the area.

 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kevin Paul Symes says:

    Hello
    I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at your website I am sat outside Weymouth Pavilion, with my uncle, who happens to be 99 born 1921,he was brought up in Westham, Weymouth, and has many memories of how things used to be!

    Like

    1. Hello Kevin, thank you for your lovely comment. I’m sure your uncle must have seen many changes over time and probably not always for the better. I expect he has many fascinating tales to tell, please get someone to record or copy them down it’s really important that we keep a living history of our area. Our heritage cafe will be displaying many of those memories.

      Like

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