The figure of £5,000 for the conversion of Dungeon Wood into a public park proved to be a considerable underestimate and, by January 1884 when it was estimated only two-thirds of the work was complete, over £22,495 had been spent.1
SCRAPS AND HINTS.
We were able to announce on Saturday the acceptance by the Corporation of Mr. H. Beaumont‘s munificent offer of land for a public park. Ever since the original offer was made, Mr. Beaumont has evidenced every desire to make the gift as acceptable as possible to the town, and the result of the interview is that a considerable portion of the alternative site suggested by the Corporation, including the whole of Dungeon Wood, will become the property of the inhabitants. Suitable roads will be constructed around the park, and it is calculated that for an expenditure of £5,000 the Corporation will be able to fulfil all the stipulations, and to make an enjoyable recreation ground. It is estimated that this expense will be covered by an annual rate of one-sixth of a penny in the pound, spread over the whole borough. We do not think that a single ratepayer will be reluctant to bear this infinitesimal burden towards the completion of a park which will be at once a boon and an ornament to the borough. Distant about a mile and a half from the Market Cross, the park is not inconveniently situated, and it is so close to railway train and omnibus as to be available for all who desire cheap and invigorating recreation at home. We have few amusements at Huddersfield in summer months to tempt the working classes away from day excursions to the sea side and other distant resorts. By all means, let the inhabitants get as much sea air as they can, but we ought in fairness to give them the chance of enjoying themselves at home, and we feel confident that a beautiful public park provided with diversified amusements from week to week at a small cost would result in a great saving to hundreds who now rush off on day excursions because there is rarely anything to keep them in the town. We regard the acquisition of Dungeon Wood and adjoining ground as as an instalment of what we believe will be the ultimate result, as one park is not sufficient, for the wants of a great and growing community. The new park can never detract from the great boon Greenhead is felt to be, and we should like to know how matters stand in regard to a park which must still be regarded par excellence as the park of the town. It would be unfortunate if the cup of fruition, which has tantalizing dangled at the lips of the inhabitants for several years, should ultimately be dashed to the ground. Not many months ago the Corporation resolved to purchase the park on the liberal terms offered by Sir John Ramsden. The public do not yet know the precise reasons why the bargain was not concluded. We hope that, so far from being lulled into indifference to Greenhead through the acquisition of Dungeon Wood, the appetite of the Corporation will grow by what it feeds upon. Gentlemen have been ready for years to subscribe towards the purchase of Greenhead, and with the liberal example of Mr. Beaumont so fresh in memory, the Corporation would have no difficulty in obtaining the park by voluntary subscriptions. It it is worth while spending £5,000 on beautifying and improving Dungeon Wood Park, Greenhead amply deserves the same pecuniary treatment. The manner in which Mr. Beaumont and the Corporation managed to agree respecting the particular land to be enclosed indicates, in our opinion, that the Corporation have only to confer with Sir John Ramsden in the same spirit in order to arrive at some settlement which shall secure a picturesque park to the town for generations to come, when nothing will be seen around but thriving residences and busy thoroughfares. The Corporation is on the right track, and we think a vigorous expression of public opinion would avert a lamentable deviation.