What is your first memory of this park?
Well my first memory of this park was coming down here with my brothers. Yeah, I came down here with my brothers. We were actually allowed out and – and we came down here and we just chilled out. We met up with all our friends, you know. And then like we came down here regular. We all used to meet here. All our school friends, so after school, you know, we would come down here and then like on the weekend. And if there were events going off, we’d all meet down here. So it wasn’t an issue of going into town and hanging out in town and that. We used to come to the parks.
Okay. Good first memory. And what is it you would like to see change about this park, if anything?
But to actually incorporate a better play area that all ages can actually play, do you know what I mean? You know like from the little ones up to the bigger ones. Because there’s a park where I went to in Sheffield, and it’s banging. Oh my gosh, it’s got everything. It’s got – where you’ve got like the spongey floor, you’ve got different areas and they’ve utilised the whole of that park.
Well, yeah. Well that’s it. You know, because you’ve got the football, football, not everybody wants to play football, you know.
Yeah. I don’t.
Even if it’s just like an area where we could like – because when we used to come down, we used to like put our coats down, play a bit of – like maybe cricket or rounders, you know what I mean? If they made like a place where you could play your rounders, got your little spots and stuff instead of having to like – because not all the time, yeah, you’re going to come with something to like have that’s going to be a base, that’s going to be a base, you know like the little cones and stuff. You don’t always come with them things…
I mean when we used to come down, we were able to use – you know like go into the changing rooms, change off and that and then like – and it was fun to come down and watch the games and participate. And as families, you know, we all used to come down and just like have, you know, a bit of a picnic, a fun day. And then when we did do events, the events were absolutely smashing because we used to get young people, you know, like from all across Derby, and they’d all come together. And no matter what talent you had, you were able to bring it to the table. It didn’t make any difference, you know what I mean, who you were, like every single culture came and you were as one. There weren’t no segregation. There weren’t nothing. And that’s how I feel, you know what I mean? That should, you know what I mean, continue, instead of the gangs and stuff and that. Well you’re not allowed to come in this particular, you know what I mean, postcode and all that kind of stuff. You know, we all just came.
You know, when they had events here, we used to come down here and we used to all do stuff and there’d be like certain things that you know, that you weren’t taught in school as black people and everything.
Well yeah, for sure. For sure.
So there were events that we were able to attend and it’s good for young people to actually know where they’re coming from. It’s not about just ourselves knowing about what our culture is about. Other people knowing about our culture, you know, being able to taste different variety of food and not being ignorant to it, you know, because I know when I was at school, when I made rice, peas and chicken, it was like “Ugh, what’s that?” “What do you mean, ugh, what’s that? That’s my Sunday dinner.”
So we used to come down here and do a little bit of food tasting and incorporating and allow other people to know what our culture’s about, you know.
I think I’d have loved that. I’d have loved that.
We set up the stages and everything and you’ve got everybody facing and the whole park was just chocker. Carnival. Carnival was not a problem down here.
I was going to ask about the carnival, yeah.
Yeah. Carnival was business. Carnival used to run right through the night. I used to bring my little brother down here, because I only lived just up the road at the time, so we used to come down here for a certain time, eat our Sunday dinner and everything like that, roll on down, link up with our friends, walk around and stuff, and then take my little brother home and then I’d come back. And we used to be able to stay down here until about two or three o’clock in the morning. We used to be here in the morning, you know. And then when I had my first child, I used to just like bring her, you know what I mean, for a spell and that and just drop her off at my mother’s house and that and come back and just roll…
And we used to meet so many people and stuff. And this is what this park was about. It brought people together from different areas, you know. And some of the people now I still have in contact with. So it’s nice, you know what I mean, and what – gosh, my eldest is going to be twenty-nine soon, so it’s a good spell of coming down here. I grew up here. When I moved into this area, I was eleven. So from eleven until I was twenty, this was me. This was where I used to come down, chillax, then like obviously bringing my own child to the park, you know.
But I think now, you know like because of the graffiti and stuff and everything and people not – bring their dogs down here and soiling the area, you know… But it is nice when they do come as a community, you know, and do football days. The football, you know what I mean, we all used to hang out.
And then they took carnival up to Osmaston and they moved a lot of the stuff down to Arboretum, which is a shame, you know. You took a lot from this area. I don’t know what runs now. But I know like when they have the co-op days and all those different events and stuff, we had – you know what I mean, we used to combine with them. We used to work alongside with them. And we used to have the relay races… (Laughs).