The Ground Beneath your Very Feet…
As a continuation of the history of Radipole park and gardens, here’s a couple more photos from the 1930’s showing their construction.
Pictured below is the partly infilled, swampy land, and the original, very much shorter, Alexander Bridge, with Hanover Road running off into the distance and Lyndhurst Terrace facing the the tracks.
Most of the garden’s were formed with the dredging of Weymouth’s estuary floor, redeposited via pump to infill the ground.
Only problem was, it wasn’t filling it quite quick enough.
The solution? It also became the town’s tip.
Unfortunately, those frequent dumpings of debris brought with them a certain noxious aroma!
Definitely not one that local residents appreciated.
So aggrieved were local residents that Mr Yates of Lyndhurst Terrace and Reverent Mother Superior of the Convent (amongst many others) put pen to paper to complain of the pungent pong that was blighting their lives.
Things got even worse though, along with stagnant waters and rotting rubbish came dreaded mosquitoes!
Huge swarms of them.
That had hotels on the Esplanade up in arms.
They declared the infestation had become so bad it was driving their guests away.
Who would have imagined that so much rubbish could have turned into one of Weymouth’s most loved gardens.
(Todays Alexander bridge is much more exciting design wise.)
Our second image from the 1930’s of Radipole grounds being created, shows in the background what was known locally as the Embankment.
A narrow, rough pathway that passed up and over from Lyndhurst Terrace down into Ranelagh Road and along to the train station.
Now…you do have to be of a certain age to remember this, it has long since closed and become totally overgrown!
Many a past Convent girls will remember this…they used to huddle on benches along the path, with illicit ciggies in hand. Presumably the poor old nuns must have thought the thick haze of rising smoke emanated from the railways below.
Two large buildings stand on its horizon, one being the Convent of the Sacred Heart and the other, a very prestigious private hotel, La Touraine…’ideal for a jolly holiday.’
This ad dating from the 1920’s, reveals they could certainly boast a view and a half ‘over-looking Bay, Town and Lake,’ as Radipole Lake was still open water right across to the railway.
Do you have any old images of Radipole park and gardens, or indeed earlier that you would be willing to share with us?
The Friends of Radipole Park and Gardens are compiling an album of photos and living memories, which we hope will eventually be displayed within our future Heritage Cafe in the play-park.
We would love to hear from anyone willing to share their images or stories.
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