New book takes nostalgic look back at Sandall Park

The mini railiway at Sandall Park.

The mini railiway at Sandall Park.

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Take a stroll through the history of one of Doncaster’s best-loved beauty spots with a new book chronicling Sandall Park.

Sandall Park: Past and Present, penned by historian Symeon Waller, is a pictorial meander through the park - from its heyday in the 1960s and 70s, its decline in the 80s and 90s and its rebirth in the last few decades under the Friends Of Sandall Park group which has helped restore it to.

The book features a detailed history, from its days as a brick and tile works, to its rebirth as a park just before the start of World War Two - and features photos of the much-missed boats as well as the long-gone mini railway, a favourite of a generation of youngsters who queued excitedly to jump aboard mini engines which rattled around a specially constructed track.

Friends group chairman Sandra Crabtree said: “At its peak during the 1960s and 70s, the park was one of Doncaster’s most popular visitor attractions.

“My childhood recollections of it were almost like a trip to the seaside. We’d pack a lunch and the whole family would set off from Intake to the boating lake - it seemed like miles. We’d spend the whole day there and play and picnic.”

However, the early 90s saw the decline in the park’s fortunes and almost all of its attractions - a golf course, a putting green and the boats - all fell by the wayside. The next 10 years saw the park decline even further before the creation of the Friends group in 2003.

In recent years, play equipment has been installed, plants and wildlife have returned, the toilets have been revamped and crime and graffiti have been virtually eradicated with a number of high profile events such as Fake Festival, Proms In The Park and the annual Santa Dash.

The book is available through the Friends’ website at www.sandallpark.org.uk or on 0750 332 9309.

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