Mile Cross Gardens.
At the entrance to the estate at Suckling Avenue sit two ornamental gardens. These once-attractive gardens were designed by the parks superintendent Captain Sandys-Winch and straddled the main entrance onto the estate. On 19th November 1925 the Parks and Gardens Committee authorised the layout of the gardens subject to a grant from the Unemployment Grants Committee. The decision to construct the buildings with concrete was made in order to provide as much work as possible.
The total cost of the development was £4,875, with a government grant of £1,840.
The gardens were officially opened on 4th May 1929 by the Lord Mayor, HP Gowen and the Sheriff, Miss Mable Clarkson. The park is listed grade II along with other parks in the City designed by Sandys-Winch such as Eaton Park, Waterloo Park, Heigham Park and Wensum Park.
The two Pavilions are no longer in use, with the doors and entrances bricked up and covered in childish graffiti. The gardens themselves are mostly tidy around the edges, however, decorative touches such as the stone and timber pergolas have all been destroyed or removed and the once-neatly trimmed grass fit for bowls is now no more than a toilet for Staffordshire Bull Terriers and the like.
If Sandys-Winch could see the state his work is in at the moment he’d probably want to go out and shoot a Tory in the leg.
The gardens can be seen here in happier times looking a lot more cared for than they currently do right now. It’s not all bad news – I did read that there could about to be some money freed-up to give these two parks the love and attention they so greatly need. Fingers crossed, and watch this space.
Thanks again for reading,