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Friday, October 22, 2010

Queens Park refurbishment has Crewe buzzing

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New buildings at Queens Park are taking shape – and causing a buzz of interest in Crewe.

Work on the frames and striking sandstone walls of the new cafeteria and games pavilion has got under way – putting a modern twist on the park’s Victorian heritage.

Formed more than 250 million years ago, in the permo-triassic age, the stone is called ‘St Bees’. It is a dark-red sandstone which forms the sea cliffs of St Bees Head, near Whitehaven in Cumbria.

The materials for the two buildings have been carefully chosen to match, where possible, the two sandstone lodges at the park’s main entrance.

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The new build has created a lot of interest in Queens Park which is satisfying to see, particularly given the attention to detail and the modern twist on the Victorian theme of the park.

“The new pavilion and café are wonderful facilities and the improvements will encourage more people into the park.

“The building work is drawing on the latest engineering skills in the same manner as our Victorian predecessors, when they first constructed the park for the people of the area.”

Work on the project began in July. It is hoped the construction will be completed by February.

The St Bees sandstone been sourced from Birkhams Quarry, in Whitehaven.

St Bees sandstone was originally used as ballast on ships to the US and then as a brownstone substitute for building in the US and Canada.

Its physical performance results in a sandstone which is extremely durable and versatile. It has been used on restoration projects such as Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and the Chester Song School, part of Chester Cathedral.

The stone has been used widely in Britain and especially in Cheshire, Cumbria, Liverpool, Manchester, the Wirral and Wales.

Queens Park was renowned as one of the finest parks in the North West. It is undergoing a £6.5m transformation to bring it back to is former glory. The Heritage Lottery Fund is providing a £2.7m support grant with the rest of the investment coming from Cheshire East Council.

Within the park’s 45 acres are walkways, trees, shrubs, planting, children’s play area, crown green bowling, putting, boating lake (currently drained for construction works), grassed areas, memorials and cafeteria.

For more information on the Queens Park restoration project visit the Queens Park web pages at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk – then click ‘Leisure, Culture and Tourism’, then follow links to park the pages.

If you don’t have online access, you can request a paper copy from Queens Park manager Elaine Dodd, on 01270 537896.

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The other change people can see is the fence by the lake has been removed so now you can walk right down to the lake.

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The Autumn colours are changing daily with some wonderful sites to be seen

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Like this tree by the path

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The squirrels are cheeky as ever collecting their nuts for winter

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