Can you remember the first time you went to Osmaston Park?
I think the first time I went to Osmaston Park was one of the times when I wasn’t really supposed to be out of the street, because my dad was quite strict and we weren’t allowed out the street. So I think we sneaked to the park. And we walked up from Peverell Street, where we used to live, onto Moor Lane. And there was this massive, great expanse of green. And for a kid that young, it’s like yes, I’m going to run all over this. Didn’t even know that there was a park up the other end. We were just running around on the grass. And it was such a happy day because the sun was out. We were picking daisies. Well it was okay until we got home and we got really in trouble for leaving the street! But yeah, that was the first time.
Have you got a favourite memory or something that stands out in your mind?
I think one of the strongest memories and I think it probably will overshadow all the other little memories of younger times and things… I think I was nine or ten. I was allowed to go and call for my friend who lived on Marlborough Road, the little bit past Nightingale Road, so it was way, way further than I was used to walking. I decided to walk across the park and have a scenic route because any chance you get to go in the park, it’s like golden. So I was walking up from Moor Lane towards the Nightingale Road entrance. And I didn’t think nothing of it. Walked up there, you know, looking around, dawdling like you do, playing for time. Walking up there, walking out and going to Marlborough Road and calling for her. She wasn’t in so walking all the way back.
But later on that day the – on East Midlands news I think it was then, there was a report that a baby had been abandoned and found on Osmaston Park. Shock, horror, I’d actually walked past that little bundle twice. There was no sound, no crying or anything like that. The baby was found alive, fortunately. And I’m saying like ‘I’ve seen that. I’ve seen that’, to my mum and my dad. I’ve seen that. But I’ve often wondered through the years what happened to that baby, whether it was reunited with its parents or, you know, I’ve often wondered and never really got the chance to find out.
Favourite memory I think I was about – I must have been about thirteen. Yeah, thirteen, fourteen. Could have even been younger. But we made the massive, huge, the biggest snowball. It was taller than any of us. And there must have been – it started off with three of us pushing it, you know, your gloves getting wet. There must have been about seven pairs of gloves in that snowball because like when it melted, you’d see all these – I remember seeing all these gloves. Oh, that’s mine. But it was massive. There were three of us. We all went on the park. And there ended up being four or five of us. And then there ended up being six or seven, ten or eleven. And I must say, there must have been about twenty, and the dads as well, all pushing. And this snowball was massive. Honestly, it was as big as a car. It was huge. And we had to – and just – in the end we just – there was not enough people to push it and it just stayed where it was. And that snowball took two weeks, absolutely, two weeks before we got all our gloves back. Honestly, two weeks. It was great.
Have you noticed any changes at the park?
I mean it’s difficult to say. All I can – I think the last time I was on the park was probably about a month or so ago with my grandchildren. And the only significant thing is there’s a lot more people on the park. When the weather’s fine, there’s a lot more families on the park. And I think that’s due – that’s mainly down to the community centre and the facilities, because that’s quite advanced to what we had when we were younger. We didn’t have anything like that.