Greenbank Park is celebrating its birthday with a big family party this weekend
1 year ago
One of Liverpool’s favourite parks is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a big family fun day this weekend.
Friends of Greenbank Park are throwing a birthday party in the park on Saturday from 11am to 3pm with lots of competitions for adults, kids and dogs – plus there’ll be live sessions from local musicians all afternoon.
Greenbank dates back as a public park to 1897 when the council bought the land, which includes the lake used for fishing, from the Rathbone family.
Now it’s one of the city’s most popular green spaces, and as well as organising regular activities, the Friends of Greenbank Park community group works to preserve and promote it and to help keep it litter-free.
To mark the 125th anniversary, the family fun day will include a fancy dress competition for all ages which will be judged at 1pm. Adults and youngsters aged under 16 are being invited to dress up as their favourite character from the past 125 years, so there’s plenty of choice to go at!
And because Greenbank is such a great place for dog-walking, four-legged visitors aren’t being left out. There’s a dog fancy dress competition for super-stylish good boys (and girls), with judging taking place on the grass area near the Greenbank Road entrance from noon.
If dressing up isn’t your thing, the day will also include Greenbank’s own version of Bake Off – no Paul or Prue, but there will be prizes for the best homemade cake, with judges giving their verdicts on the tastiest at 12.30pm.
It’s the perfect chance for a picnic too, and Friends of Greenbank are laying on free drinks and snacks for kids while stocks last.
Roberta Peak, chair of the volunteer group which was set up in 2006, says the event is the result of a lot of planning over the past few months.
“We call the park the jewel in the park of Greenbank because there’s quite a lot of residential houses around here which have very small back yards, so we encourage people to use the park as much as possible, to see it as an extension of their home and to treat it as their outdoor space,” she says.
“Along with that, we try to create a real sense of community around the park which is one of the reasons why we wanted to do the 125th celebrations.”
Like many parks, Greenbank became more of a focal point during the height of the pandemic when restrictions meant outdoor exercise was all that was allowed.
“People definitely came to appreciate the park more around that time and that’s something we really want to build on. This space has been there for 125 years and we try to encourage people to take ownership of it, so as well as enjoying it they take a responsibility for it, just as you would your own back garden.
“That’s why we organise positive events like the family fun day, not just things like litter-picks.
“We want all ages to be involved – and dogs. Greenbank Park is used for lots of different reasons and one of those is dog walking so there’s a good community of dog owners around the park.
“And living in the streets around the park there are a lot of people who are musicians so we knocked on neighbours’ doors – people who we know have played in the Liverpool Philharmonic, who are music teachers or who are just really good singers and musicians – and said ‘do you fancy coming along and playing or singing?’ just to add to the atmosphere.”
Roberta says the fun day will hopefully be the first of a series of events in the park throughout the year.
“We want to widen the possibilities of the park for children and adults, people who’ve been in the community 40 years and people, including students, who’ve been here maybe a few months to try and engage everyone.”
Visit the Friends of Greenbank Park Facebook Page here.
By Dawn Collinson