You can tell when a place is well used and well loved, and the feeling is catching. We hit Victoria Park as the clouds parted and the sunshine reminded us that it is, allegedly, summer. Many Stretfordians (is that a word?) had the same idea, and the park was pleasantly busy.
The first thing we spotted when we arrived, was the “Welcome to Victoria Park” mosaic, which creates a lovely first impression. It was produced by local artist Amanda McCrann along with local school children. Take a while to look at this up close – it’s beautiful and features some of the natural delights you might spot in the park if you’re observant and lucky! Amanda is currently working on another mosaic project in Victoria Park, so watch this space.
We were serenaded by a group of teenagers singing along with their ipod, surprisingly tunefully, as we played on the larger playground (pictures bottom, in the background) near the mosaic. Next to this area is a community noticeboard, the first of many we encountered on this trip. They give the overwhelming impression that this place is a source of enjpyment, as well as pride, to many local people. There’s information about events and wildlife, and photos of recent projects and activities. The Friends of Victoria Park are clearly a very active bunch!
We had a long stop off at the toddler playground where it was lovely to find some unusual features that captured my daughter’s imagination. We loved the train and castle carved out of wood, and my daughter made a beeline for the noticeboard giving information on the various bugs and creepy crawlies you might encounter here. There are lots of trees around this play area, making it a great place to play on a hot day – although the chance would be a fine thing!
Carrying on with our lap of the park, we were impressed with the formal flowerbeds, which were being tended to by a gardener as we passed. Victoria Park combines outdoor fun with public art, an awareness of wildlife and traditional floral displays. You can’t really ask more than that of a local park!