Tredegar Park Recreation Ground - in World War Two

It was reported in late May 1938 that a mock air raid would be staged at Tredegar Park, to which the public was invited and special buses run so that spectators could attend.[1]

In 1939 military authorities occupied a portion of Tredegar Park and notified the Council that their occupation would cease on or about 9th October 1939.[2] Subsequently there was a Royal Air Force presence, in that the Parks Superintendent reported in January 1941 that the main path at Tredegar Park was being badly cut up by RAF vehicles.[3]

As well as military occupation, it was common for areas of the parks to be used for food production and in September 1940 the Parks Committee agreed that approximately ten acres in Tredegar Park (then in a wild state) be turned over to cultivation.[4] In May 1941 it was reported that spring oats were doing well in Tredegar Park and at the same meeting the Committee decided to permit grazing of sheep on an area of the park comprising 29.36 acres.[5] In October the Parks Superintendent reported that corn crops had been harvested.[6] In April 1943 it was reported that the pavilion at Tredegar Park was no longer required by the military authority which had requisitioned it, and the Parks Committee decided that sites no longer required by the military would be used for food production purposes.[7]

In addition to food production undertaken by the Council, there were allotments in the parks. The Parks Committee decided in April 1942 that portions of several parks, including Tredegar Recreation Ground, "be set aside for the duration of the war and a reasonable time thereafter for allotment purposes."[8]

The Holidays at Home scheme promoted by the government was another wartime development for the parks, with increased provision of entertainments and organised games. The Parks Superintendent reported on the Holidays at Home 1944 season and stated that approximately 12,000 people were at Tredegar Park on the August Bank Holiday.[9]

At the end of 1944 the Parks Committee decided that 14 acres of land in Tredegar Park used for food production should now be sown with grass seed.[10] In June 1945 the Committee agreed to extend grazing rights (held by Mr J. O. Cullimore) at Tredegar Park for one year.[11]

In May 1947 the Parks Committee agreed to accept an offer from the Air Ministry Works Directorate for compensation in connection with requisition of the tennis pavilion at Tredegar Park (presumably the pavilion mentioned above, reported to be no longer required for military purposes in April 1943.[12]

Sources of Information

  1. Mock air raid to be staged at Newport Park. Western Mail & South Wales News 27th May 1938 page 7
  2. Parks and Cemeteries Committee Matters decided by the Deputy Chairman 12-28th October 1939
  3. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 17th January 1941
  4. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 20th September 1940
  5. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 16th May 1941
  6. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 17th October 1941
  7. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 16th April 1943
  8. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 30th April 1942
  9. Newport County Borough Council Music in Parks Sub-Committee 16th November 1944
  10. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 15th December 1944
  11. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 15th June 1945
  12. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 16th May 1947