Crindau Park was formed on 10½ acres of land near the Malpas Road tramway terminus, purchased from Mr Prothero. In July 1911 the Parks Committee instructed the Town Clerk to complete the purchase, the Local Government Board having agreed to a loan of £2,175 for the purpose. In November the Committee instructed the Borough Engineer to proceed with draining and laying out the new recreation ground as soon as approval was received from the Local Government Board, using unemployed labour via the Distress Committee. This approval - to borrow £1325 for laying out the ground - was recieved in January 1912.
In August 1912 it was reported that the installation of railings by Messrs W.A. Baker was complete, at a total cost of £403-3s-6d. The Parks Committee then agreed that the Malpas Road Recreation Ground be renamed Crindau Park, and that one set each of Association and Rugby football goal posts be provided there.
The park was opened to the public in late 1912, though there was no official opening ceremony.
In April 1913 the Parks Committee agreed to provide a baseball pitch at Crindau Park along with three other Newport parks. At the same meeting the Committee agreed to engage a man to supervise the park. In May it was agreed that twelve seats be provided in the park, along with temporary urinal accommodation. At the end of 1913 the Committee decided to plant trees in Crindau Park.
In January 1914 it was reported that the park was in regular use for organised games on Thursdays and Saturdays. The Parks Committee agreed to permit the Western Cavalry, based at Newport Barracks, to use the park as a recreation ground for games such as football and cricket.
Developments after the 1914-18 war included a new layout for games pitches, approved in September 1922. At the same meeting the Parks Committee decided to make provision in next financial year for the costs of a shelter, latrines, drinking fountain, and the flooring of the keeper's hut. A plan for a convenience and shelter was approved the following January. In October 1923 the Committee agreed to complete the levelling of the hockey pitch, while other levelling works would be done as material became available. It was also decided that twelve plank seats be provided in the park. In June 1931 the Committee agreed to provide a rugby pitch with goal posts.
The Parks Committee accepted an offer in September 1934 from the Health Committee for the transfer of land adjacent to Crindau Park. The land in question had been let to the Great Western Railway Institute, which was giving up the tenancy at the end of September 1934. In October the Committee inspected this land and approved a layout submitted by the Borough Engineer providing for one full size rugby pitch and a children's playground.
The 1939-45 world war had a number of impacts on the park, as described on a separate page.
After the war the sports areas in the park required extensive levelling, and the Parks Superintendent reported in March 1946 that 100 tonnes of soil had been delivered to Crindau Park for that purpose. The following month the Parks Committee agreed that the Newport Harriers Athletic Club could use part of Crindau Park for training, and also agreed to provide a sand pit as requested by the club. In August 1948 it was decided that the children's playground would be moved to the park extension acquired before the war. At the request of the Monmouthshire Amateur Athletic Association the Parks Committee agreed in October 1948 to provide a cinder running track in the park in the following financial year. This scheme had to be abandoned owing to the expense of raising the track above the level of flooding. Nontheless in April 1950 it was reported that athletic facilities were being provided, including a quarter mile grass running track, a 100 yard sprint track and a sand pit. In 1956 the Newport Baseball League complained to the Council of the undulating condition of the pitch at Crindau Park. The Parks Committee decided that a baseball pitch be laid out within the running track for use on Saturday afternoons only, and the Newport Harriers agreed to refrain from using the track on Saturday afternoons.
Crindau Park seems never to have had a bandstand or stage for concert performances but after the war it was included in the Council's programmes for summer entertainments. In the 1949 season recorded music was broadcast on two afternoons and four evenings each week.
In December 1953 the Parks Committee agreed to accept the land between Blaen-y-pant Crescent and Crindau Park as an extension to the park, as requested by the Housing Committee.
A lease was granted in 1966 to Albion Rovers Sports Club, which organised both baseball and football. It was still in force in 1990, when the Leisure Services Committee approved a 21-year lease to satisfy Sports Council grant criteria for the club to improve their changing accommodation.
In 1960 planning for a "Northern bypass" for Newport was in progress and it was expected that Crindau Park would be affected, about a quarter of the park being lost. Associated with this was the allocation of a small area of the park adjoining Blaen-y-Pant Crescent as a site for a nursery school to replace a building to be demolished for the proposed bypass. Further land was given up in the 1970s when the Leisure Services Committee agreed that 209 square meters be sold to Gwent County Council for highway improvements.
The 1980s brought further encroachments in the form of a Welsh Office scheme to improve the A4042 trunk road, requiring new vehicular access to the park, a new car park and relocation of the tennis courts.
Sources of Information