If the Marine Parks in Shields were the belles of the ball, the Bents Park, I’ve always thought, was the slightly poorer relation in the home-made dress.
As kids, it was a place to play desultorily games of tennis; but otherwise, it always seemed a quiet park, a haunt of dog walkers.
Today, a show ground for the great free summer concerts, Cinderella has turned into a diva!
I mention it only because I’ve just come across a note of when the Bents Park was being laid out in 1903.
It then covered 40 acres, between Beach Road and Mowbray Road, and was conceived as a project for the unemployed, giving work to upwards of a hundred men a week.
This involved shifting rubbish and discarded bricks, that eventually became the foundation of the extension of Erskine Road to the Coast Road.
A children’s playground, and a drill ground for the volunteers, were among the park’s original provisions.