Sheffield Park was opened on Wednesday 26th May 1926 and thousands of people from the area flocked to the park to watch the formal opening ceremony.
The park was established on land donated by Sir Berkeley Sheffield and gave a great lift to the public of Crosby and the surrounding area because the year was blighted by the general strike.
It was reported in the Scunthorpe Star on the following Saturday in a language of day gone by. It was a time when the villages of Scunthorpe were united as an Urban District and Britain still had an empire with an Empire Day celebrated each year.
The report read,
“Great interest was evinced on Wednesday in the opening of Sheffield Park, Scunthorpe in the presence of about 6000 people.
“The park has six hard tennis courts, bowling green as well as a band stand and comprises an area of 11 acres in Old Crosby, which was given by Sir Berkeley Sheffield.
“The opening ceremony was performed by Sir Berkeley who was accompanied by Lady Sheffield and the gathering was a most representative one.
“Sir Berkeley opened the gates with a key presented by Coun H Jackson, who observed the council had decided not to allow Sunday games, but if the public desired them then a request must be made to the council, although he was dubious about the request being acceded to.”
The report said tribute was paid to Sir Berkeley for his gift as well as the practical interest he took in the welfare of Scunthorpe and its people.
“Sir Berkeley Sheffield, who received tremendous ovation, stated that the day marked the fruition of a dream of his many years ago.
“He hoped that the park would be a centre of pleasure and recreation and that all would enjoy it.
“He hoped that the glorious whether that was prevailing at the opening ceremony might be the harbinger if better times and that all would carry on the great traditions of the Empire.”
Echoing the troubles of the time the report said no nation should be divided against itself.
“Touching upon the coal strike and the general depression Sir Berkeley observed that it was always difficult to find the happy medium, but nevertheless there existed amongst the people a feeling of justice and right which would bring them through the troublesome time. It was hoped that the dark clouds would roll by and that the sun of prosperity would again shine over them.”
A vote of thanks was proposed by Coun J Nuttall. Sir Berkeley and Coun Nuttall then played a game of bowls at the park, which the latter won by 11 to 5.
The report in the Scunthorpe Star of 1926 makes no mention of the pavilion and it does seem to appear on any photo’s from that day; the first reference to the pavilion is in a Town Guide from the early 1930s. The park went on to feature much more in later years including formal gardens and an outdoor paddling pool.