As a young family with two growing boys, we moved to Knaresborough 31 years ago from Teesside, and have been enjoying this part of the country ever since. Now the boys have grown up, we visit the park with the grandkids.
We got our dog Mabel around three years ago and, until then, did not know an awful lot about Jacob Smith Park (JSP), apart from occasionally seeing cattle roaming about as we passed it. Someone mentioned the park to us saying it was open to the public so we decided to investigate. Needless to say, both Mabel and ourselves then realised it was a great place to feel at ease and have lots of freedom.
We now have another dog that loves the park, Leo, and he is getting to be well known in the park for his fun attitude. We have met lots of lovely people in the park and always stop for chats and catchups.
We always mention the park when we meet new people to the area and they say, as we do, that it was a Godsend for this to be donated to the town.
Local folk always show an interest in keeping the park tidy and well managed – and this all helps to make it the special community place it is.
I moved to Scriven with my family when I was 12 years-old. Once we had settled into our new home, I was, of course, desperate to explore. Walking up to the top of Park Avenue I often wondered what was behind the massive stone walls and old wooden gates. The curiosity got the better of me and my old mate Charlie and I decided to discover its secrets.
We scrambled up the wall and sat on the top. It looked like Jurassic Park to us with the biggest cattle you would see anywhere, and all those old oak trees all snarly and interesting. The pond was full of tadpoles and newts. It was a lads’ playground for sure. I can still hear to this day the cattle herdsman shouting: “Can’t you bloody read that its private land? The bloody bull will have you if I don’t get you two first. Get off! Clear Off!” Luckily we could run faster than him.
Little did I know, that forty years later, I would be part of the HBC parks’ team to get the park ready for the community by clearing and creating pathways. We have so much to thank Miss Jacob Smith for.
Photos courtesy of Paul.