Nanda was interviewed by Charlotte, Aaliyah and Saph from the Normanton Park group.
Okay. Right. Do you have a favourite memory or something that sticks out of your mind?
Yes. When we used to come on the park, we used to bring picnics. The whole family used to come. And the other – lots of other families who were having picnics as well. So that’s what I remember is it’s been used as a picnic park. And obviously the swings were there.
Have you noticed any changes?
I’ve seen a lot of changes on this park. We don’t have as many – not sports days. We don’t have as many community fun days. The toilets have been closed… But I think it’s coming back. They are trying to change it. They are trying to revisit the park and make sure it’s, you know, accessible for everybody in the community so it’s more community-friendly for everybody to use.
Would you change anything?
Would I change anything? I don’t think I would change anything because I think that’s a part of the natural process of change that happens in our lives, so these things happen. But it’s important that we learn from them. It’s important that we take out the – keep the good bits and then try to bring those good bits back so that we can make the park our own park again. You know, it’s a community asset. It’s something we should be using. It’s there for future generations to use.
How long have you used this park, Nanda?
Over twenty years.
Nearly all your life then.
Nearly all my life, yeah! I’m only a young person, yes (laughter). It’s my big birthday coming up soon.
What was the first park you ever went to?
Where was it?
Do you have a favourite memory?
Yeah. I remember my dad teaching me to ride my bike, you know, learn to – my first bike. And I remember him sort of like pushing me up the hill and then us lot coming down there, because at Arboretum park it’s quite hilly. And I remember the brass bands on a Sunday. I remember really nice area where you were walking. There wasn’t as many facilities as we have on Arboretum park now and on Normanton Park. It was very basic, but it was very open plan. It was more again round picnics and kids riding their bikes and learning, you know, parents teaching their kids to ride their bikes. That’s what I remember.
And you know when you say you’ve been coming on this park for twenty years, was that the fun days, that brought you to the park?
That was part of it because I think in the summer everybody knew the co-op fun day would be happening. So it brought the whole community together.
So that was a big thing. Yeah.
Yes. And it’s also about information sharing, because it’s a good opportunity for people in the area to get to know, you know, different people who are in the area. Because they had stalls here and they were sharing their information.
And if this park disappeared tomorrow, does it mean anything to you? Yeah. I think, again, to me it’s a really important asset. It’s where our young people learn to play football. There’s facilities for sports, cricket, tennis. There’s facilities for young mums to bring their toddlers. It’s an open space to have some fresh air. It’s also – at the moment, we’ve got the older generation, especially with the Asian community, they’ve started their walking clubs, so it’s about keeping healthy. And if you have a look at the park, they’ve started marking down how much they’ve done. So they’ve done a 100 metres or 200 metres and so on. So that shows that this park can be used for so many – so diverse. And the community around it is so diverse. So I think it’s a really important asset to our community.