You can listen to Jan’s memories of Chaddesden Park or you can read his interview.
Could you tell me your name and where you come from?
Yeah. My name’s Jan Pawlaczyk. I’m originally from Chaddesden but I now live in Spondon.
Can you remember the first time that you went to Chaddesden Park?
Yeah, I can. I was about 7 years old, so that’s – I’m giving my age away now – 43 years ago, with my sister and we went to the playground. I used to live on Albert Road and Chaddesden Park was the nearest park for us.
Have you got a favourite memory of the park or a memory that stands out above the rest?
Yeah, we used to spend every Sunday down there, playing football. We used to love it…we used to hang around what they used to call the rope swing. We used to spend from 10 o’clock in the morning till about 7 or 8 o’clock at night in the summer, you know, non-stop playing football. And that was always my defining memory, every Sunday playing football.
Where was the rope swing?
That was where the brook is. So if you were approaching it from where Aldi is now where the car park is, it was where the path is on the right-hand side, before you turn over the first bridge.
Yeah, I think I remember something similar.
Was Chaddesden Park the first park you ever went to?
Have you noticed a lot of changes?
Well, yeah, I know they’ve done away with the paddling pool and the golf course, the pitch-n-put golf course. And they, to me, were brilliant. Used to love it. Used to spend hours playing golf and when we were younger we used to go to the paddling pool.
If you could change anything about the park, what would you do, if anything?
I think I feel sorry that some of those things have gone because they were great facilities. It gives young people something to do and places to go. They should have…an assault course or something. Because I think young people today, if you can get them interested in something, they feel they’re having an input into something.
Alot of people don’t know the history of the park, don’t know there used to be the castle down there.
Really? That’s crazy, isn’t it? So they’ve got no recollection of the changes that have happened and what it used to be like before…
It might be the same for you but most of my childhood memories come from Chad Park.
Yeah, they do, yeah.
And it kind of makes you the person you are.
Yeah, I think it does. I think you’re right. I used to love— We used to watch a programme called Star Soccer, like Match of the Day. Straight after dinner, we’d watch that, then we’re meeting by the big oak tree to play football. And we did, non-stop all day long. And that’s how we were. That’s how we grew up.