20th Century

1912 Percy Chandos Farquhar de Paravacini of Grantham donates land 1 acre one rood & eight poles “for the purpose of a public recreation ground” (bowling green & park east of bathing place/boating pool) Note the area is called Recreation Ground and Bathing Place “council will not fell  or cut down or mutilate any timber or timber like trees standing or growing on the said piece or parcel of land unless the same shall be of such age as to require the removal for public safety”

1920 Dowager Lady Leconfield of 12 Great Stanhope St., London, donated £1000 towards a memorial to perpetuate the memory of her son.
Lady Leconfield, Constance Evelyn Primrose, was the eldest daughter of Lord Dalmeny & Catherine Lucy Wilhemina Stanhope, and then when her mother married again, stepdaughter of Harry 4th Duke of Cleveland, and was at his bedside when he died. Leconfield in Darlington, used to be part of Duke of Cleveland’s estate, and is named after her, surrounded by wonderful wrought iron railings containing huge stags.
The Town Council agreed to name Slate Mill Park after WYNDHAM, Lt. Hon. William Reginald. 1st Life Guards. Killed in action 6th November 1914, aged 38. Third son of Henry Wyndham, 2nd Baron Leconfield 1830-1901 (grandson of 3nd Earl of Egremont was MP for West Sussex and lived at Petworth House and held manors of Low and High Catton. A drawing by Frederick Sargent 1870s or 1880s? is in the National Portrait Gallery.
Capt. Wyndham had a winter home on North Parade. He took an active interest in Grantham and donated his big game trophies to the town. He was buried in Zillebeke Churchyard located 3 Km east of Ieper town centre on the Maaldestedestraat, a road leading from the Meenseweg (N8), connecting Ieper to Menen. From Ieper town centre the Meenseweg is located via Torhoutstraat and right onto Basculestraat. Basculestraat ends at a main cross roads, directly over which begins the Meenseweg. 2 Km along the Meenseweg lies the right hand turning onto the Maaldestedestraat. The churchyard itself is located 1.8 Km along the Maaldestedestraat on the left hand side of the road, within the village of Zillebeke. The commune of Zillebeke contains many Commonwealth cemeteries as the front line trenches ran through it during the greater part of the First World War. Zillebeke Churchyard contains 32 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. Fourteen (mainly officers) belonged to the Foot Guards or the Household Cavalry who died in 1914. Six of the burials are unidentified and special memorials commemorate two casualties whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. The Commonwealth plot was designed by W H Cowlishaw.

1920 9th October Notice to Joseph Codlin Wright to quit within one year the sheds, buildings, yard & land owned by Mary Ellen Griffin

1920 1st December Land along river and right of way (given or bought ?) from Lt Col PCF de Paravacini 

1921 Land 3 rood, 17 perches 20 yds (paddling pool area) bought from Mary Ellen Griffin for £700 (formerly owned by John Herbert Dudley 5th Earl of Harrowby and Mary Elizabeth Hole of Newark bought for £300 in December 1906 by William Henry Griffin of Grantham)

1922 5th July Land east (nursery school and playing field) formerly owned by Earl of Harrowby and owned 1912-1920 by Lt Col PCF de Paravacini  of Birkholme Manor, Corby one acre, one rood, eight perches and  3 roods & 38 perches sold for £17 10s and to be used as a public recreation ground. NB The park was called Wyndham Park by this stage

1922 The town war memorial, Wyndham Park, was begun under a scheme for the unemployed paid by the Board of Guardians. Men were paid the standard unemployment rate of 1 shilling (5p) an hour. About 400 men were found temporary work under the scheme that cost about £5,000.

1924 The park was officially opened by Lady Leconfield in July 1924. See Grantham journal cutting. Several thousand spectators turned out to watch the parade and the opening, and a service was led by Canon Hancock of St Wulfram’s and the Reverend Mahon of the Congregational Church. ‘Bandstand’ pavilion possibly by J. Coultas engineering ironworks Grantham  - (The original plaque is now in the Guildhall – see below May1999)

1925 Two youngsters aged four and five appeared before Grantham Children’s Court accused of gathering 4 dozen tulip blooms in the park

1928 Monday 2nd July inaugural meeting of what was to become the Wyndham Park Bowls Club was held at the Wagon and Horses Public House. He mayor Councillor G.W.Golding was elected president. Chairman Mr E. Parnham. Subscriptions were set at one shilling (5p). First friendly match arranged by Councillor E.E. Sharpe to open Bowling Green in the park. It was a 58 points draw

1929 Saturday 18th May Opening of ‘New Bowling Green’.

1930 Dysart Park Ladies played Wyndham Park ladies in the Arthur Eatch Rose Bowl.  The annual bowls competition between the two parks was hosted in turn. 

1930 Parcel of land on NW side of Hill Avenue was bought for £10 from Lt Col Paravacini

1931 Knock-out Competition formed between two Bowling Clubs, Wyndham and Dysart

1935 George V’s Silver Jubilee. The brick arched gateway was erected and dedicated with copper plaque. A Pageant of Youth was performed in the park by 2,000 pupils that was watched by 10,000 adults.

1940 April 10th last meeting and no further entries due to war

1942 Grantham’s second nursery opened in the park. . Open between 7am and 7pm for working mothers.  The paintwork was restful brown and cream and there were good facilities

1944 April 13th re-opening of Bowls Club considered.

1945 February 9th A paddock and piece of land was bought for £1,700 from Rt Hon Francis Adelbert Baron Brownlow between Manthorpe Rd and Slate Mill Place

1945 May 8th VE Day The end of the World War II was celebrated with bands playing in the park.

1946 Carnival Queen Betty Adams (aged 16 years) crowned in the park

1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Guides & Scouts paraded in the park

1953 79 ½ sq yards rented to East Midlands Electricity Board 21 years £3 p.a.

1955 A Tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipifera, was planted with a plaque in memory of Henry Stubley who was Parks Superintendent from 1924 to 1955 (Chairman of Grantham Branch of Nalgo 1952-1953)  {On 14th June 2006 girth measured 140 cms (55 inches) }

1955 11th June Joseph Blackmore confectioner given right to supply light refreshments in Wyndham Park during summer months 1st April – 30th September  a three year agreement £35 a year using Corporation mobile canteen

1958 Ron Howlett, a Yorkshireman from Harrogate who trained at Bramham Park was appointed Deputy Parks Supervisor and lived in Slate Mill house – later awarded BEM for services to horticulture

Highlight of the Quincentenary Celebrations is a visit by the Queen Mother, who opens new Nurses’ accommodation, and an Old People’s Home. She is cheered by massed 6,000 enthusiastic schoolchildren in Wyndham Park, visits the recently opened Grantham College and leaves the town by train. (Grantham 1963  6 min Colour Silent 16mm excerpt from 343 Lincolnshire Film Archive) The Queen Mother planted the copper beech tree in the park adjacent to the Nursery School.  Queen Elizabeth Gardens became part of the park

1964 Plans to convert open air pool to 25 metres pool instead of planned 30 metres

1969 New gas main laid south of Belton Lane

1971 Swimming pool closed

1971 Appropriation of 280 square yards of land on south side of Belton Lane at its junction with Manthorpe Road

1974 Change from Grantham Borough Council to South Kesteven District Council

1975 In March with 16 hours of continuous rain, the District Council’s weather station in Wyndham Park recorded 39.9mm of rain. River Witham overflowed and there was severe flooding in Grantham.

1978 Skateboard park opened on site of swimming pool

1979 30 trees affected by Dutch Elm disease felled. The Avenue of lime trees was named after councillor Lloyd Ramsden. A Garden for the Blind was made around a horse chestnut tree, Aesculus hippocastanum, that had been planted in the 1960’s by Ian Howlett, the son of the Parks Supervisor, grown from a conker from the magnificent old horse chestnut as seen in old postcards that had to be felled.

1992 29th July land on NW side of Hill Avenue sold to Gerald & Zena Rudkin for £13, 750

1995 New Pavilion for Bowling Club opened

1995 When skateboard craze diminished, the area was filled in with water and became home to Grantham Model Boat Club at a cost of £46,000

1998 September Annual Championship of National Model Power Boat Association held for first time at Grantham

1999 28th May 1924 pavilion plaque restored and hung outside Mayor’s office in the Guildhall for safe-keeping