In October 1939 permission was granted to the military authorities to use football pitches in both Coronation and Shaftesbury Parks, as well as a portion of those parks to carry out exercises. Other wartime uses were for food production and grazing of sheep. In spring 1941 the Parks Committee permitted grazing on the extension part of the park, the area involved being approximately ten acres. In April 1942 the Committee decided that portions of several parks, including Coronation, "be set aside for the duration of the war and a reasonable time thereafter for allotment purposes." Land was still being used for grazing in 1945, when the Committee agreed that the grazing rights of Mr H. Venner be extended for one year.
The Council initially resisted government proposals to remove railings from Newport parks for the war effort, but in June 1943 the Parks Committee agreed that a length of railings could be removed from Coronation Park for scrap purposes, and replaced by a post and wire fence behind which hedges would be planted. A thorn boundary hedge "extending from 500 yards" was planted in March 1945 to replace the railings.
By late 1944 a pavilion in Coronation Park (presumably the sports pavilion built in 1939) was no longer required for war-related use and the Parks Committee decided that application be made to the authority formerly occupying it for the building to be restored to its normal condition.
Coronation Park had a barrage balloon site during the war, and it can be seen in the aerial photograph dated 12th July 1943. The Air Ministry Works Directorate gave up possession on 8th April 1946 and the Parks Superintendent reported that a claim would be submitted for making good the site.
Sources of Information