Active Calderdale – A stroll down memory Lane : Jaime’s story

(Photos by Olwen Edwards)

Something that has really supported me  through the COVID crisis is going for a walk. It’s a simple pleasure that I took for granted before  lockdown.  As a working , single parent, my pre-covid pace of life was pretty hectic. Oftentimes  I would  put off going for a walk , because I felt tired or lacking in motivation.  During lockdown  however, I found myself really looking forward to the  part of my day when I could get out for a stroll.

During this difficult period , I would  daydream  about all  the places I would  visit once the  lockdown measures were lifted. Shaw Park in Holywell Green was one of them.

I have lived in Halifax all my life. In the 80’s, I lived in the village of Holywell Green. Shaw Park, (or  deer park) was just across the road from where we lived. Myself, brother and kids from the village, played there literally every day. It was a place of wonder to me! It had a fairytale castle, an archway to a magic wishing  well, a duck pond and a herd of deer that roamed the hillside in front of the park, leading up to the small hamlet of Jagger Green.  The area that is now a nature reserve, was once a Lido, and back then it was fenced off and dilapidated. You could still see the rusty diving board and pool,  green with algae. It looked  so spooky!  we invented stories about it being haunted by the people  who  had drowned there. Winter in the park was fun too – it has amazing slopes to sledge down also the duck pond would freeze over.  I remember our dog and my dad, walking on it  and falling through the ice. Ah the rose tinted spectacles of nostalgia!

In the lovely weather we had recently I introduced my friend  to Shaw Park – she had never heard of it or indeed had ever been to  the village of Holywell Green . My first impressions  as we walked  around the park, is that it’s much  smaller than I remembered! other than that not much has changed.  A family of Canada geese now occupy the duck pond and the castle is fenced off. There is  still a herd of deer  though they live in a paddock now, the nature reserve has replaced the haunted pool, and the wishing well is still there- a refreshing   place to cool my feet.

It got me thinking how many other people don’t know about this hidden gem? Perhaps there are lots of places in Calderdale I’ve never heard of?  Places of historical interest, forgotten communities? Glorious, green spaces?

What’s your favourite place to go in Calderdale? Do you like me have fond memories of  growing up in a small village in North or East Halifax? We would love to hear from you.



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