Heritage centre and community cafe plan for West Bank Park

York Press: Heritage centre and community cafe plan for York park Heritage centre and community cafe plan for York park

PART of York’s hidden history could be celebrated through a community scheme at a York park.

The West Bank Park Heritage Project, which includes local residents and businesses and backed by City of York Council, is exploring ideas to improve the Holgate park, create a heritage centre and community cafe, and mark its origins and the work and life of 19th Century botanist, nursery owner and Quaker missionary James Backhouse.

The park was Backhouse’s family home and Backhouse Nurseries, which stretched across the current park site and beyond, was one of the most renowned in the north, due to its plants, rock gardens and the new species it introduced to England.

The project could forge links with the University of Tasmania because of Backhouse’s travels through Australia, as well as Mauritius and South Africa.

Coun Sonja Crisp, the council’s cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, will next week be asked to approve a funding bid to the Nesta Rethinking Parks innovation programme, whose partnerships with the Big Lottery and Heritage Lottery Funds provide £1 million to support projects.

She said: “The funding will enable groups to really showcase their talents and demonstrate what can be achieved locally, which could then be rolled out across the country.”

Project founder and chairman Jane Cullen said: “James Backhouse’s story is one of the untapped pieces of York’s history – being a Quaker, he was modest about his work, so it’s up to us to tell his story hundreds of years on and the time is now right to do that.”

The first stage of the application will be submitted by February 28 and, if it succeeds, a second-stage bid will be invited.

The council said the scheme could provide a template for similar community projects at other York parks.

Comments (3)

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9:46am Sat 22 Feb 14

acomblass says...

And what about the cafe that used to be a successful venture in this Park?
Where are all these supposed volunteers coming from?
And what about the cafe that used to be a successful venture in this Park? Where are all these supposed volunteers coming from? acomblass
  • Score: 3

10:13am Sat 22 Feb 14

Paul Hepworth says...

This article led me to a fascinating account on parksandgardens.org of the Backhouse Nursery, from its roots on the site of the old railway station, to the Barbican area then finally to West Bank in Holgate. Seems as though they were keeping one step ahead of York's expanding suburbs.
I heard that Backhouses planted daffodils on the outside of the Bar Wall's at their first site, as an advertisement. When George Hudson bought the land for the first station, Backhouses upped sticks but left the daffs behind. That was seemingly the origin of the planting that now extends right round the Walls. Their second site beyond the present Barbican, then the cattle market, is found on the map at york1852.org
A young Backhouse nephew in Darlington reportedly witnessed the first train on the Stockton to Darlington railway, and dutifully wrote an account to his uncle in York. Like all good schoolboys he added a sketch of the train. I recall this letter being on display many years ago at the NRM.
The Backhouse story is a part of York's unlauded history and deserves to be told.
This article led me to a fascinating account on parksandgardens.org of the Backhouse Nursery, from its roots on the site of the old railway station, to the Barbican area then finally to West Bank in Holgate. Seems as though they were keeping one step ahead of York's expanding suburbs. I heard that Backhouses planted daffodils on the outside of the Bar Wall's at their first site, as an advertisement. When George Hudson bought the land for the first station, Backhouses upped sticks but left the daffs behind. That was seemingly the origin of the planting that now extends right round the Walls. Their second site beyond the present Barbican, then the cattle market, is found on the map at york1852.org A young Backhouse nephew in Darlington reportedly witnessed the first train on the Stockton to Darlington railway, and dutifully wrote an account to his uncle in York. Like all good schoolboys he added a sketch of the train. I recall this letter being on display many years ago at the NRM. The Backhouse story is a part of York's unlauded history and deserves to be told. Paul Hepworth
  • Score: 26

10:59am Sat 22 Feb 14

Yorkieand says...

Paul Hepworth wrote:
This article led me to a fascinating account on parksandgardens.org of the Backhouse Nursery, from its roots on the site of the old railway station, to the Barbican area then finally to West Bank in Holgate. Seems as though they were keeping one step ahead of York's expanding suburbs.
I heard that Backhouses planted daffodils on the outside of the Bar Wall's at their first site, as an advertisement. When George Hudson bought the land for the first station, Backhouses upped sticks but left the daffs behind. That was seemingly the origin of the planting that now extends right round the Walls. Their second site beyond the present Barbican, then the cattle market, is found on the map at york1852.org
A young Backhouse nephew in Darlington reportedly witnessed the first train on the Stockton to Darlington railway, and dutifully wrote an account to his uncle in York. Like all good schoolboys he added a sketch of the train. I recall this letter being on display many years ago at the NRM.
The Backhouse story is a part of York's unlauded history and deserves to be told.
That's an interesting history lesson. Thanks.
[quote][p][bold]Paul Hepworth[/bold] wrote: This article led me to a fascinating account on parksandgardens.org of the Backhouse Nursery, from its roots on the site of the old railway station, to the Barbican area then finally to West Bank in Holgate. Seems as though they were keeping one step ahead of York's expanding suburbs. I heard that Backhouses planted daffodils on the outside of the Bar Wall's at their first site, as an advertisement. When George Hudson bought the land for the first station, Backhouses upped sticks but left the daffs behind. That was seemingly the origin of the planting that now extends right round the Walls. Their second site beyond the present Barbican, then the cattle market, is found on the map at york1852.org A young Backhouse nephew in Darlington reportedly witnessed the first train on the Stockton to Darlington railway, and dutifully wrote an account to his uncle in York. Like all good schoolboys he added a sketch of the train. I recall this letter being on display many years ago at the NRM. The Backhouse story is a part of York's unlauded history and deserves to be told.[/p][/quote]That's an interesting history lesson. Thanks. Yorkieand
  • Score: 16

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