Watford parks chief bemoans loss of park bandstand

Watford parks head and parks historian Paul Rabbitts said the loss of a bandstand in Lancaster's Ryelands Park is "a shame".

The author of new Amberley Publishing book, Parkitecture - Buildings and Monuments in Public Parks, and two books on bandstands said: "There's some great work going on across the country and new restorations under way but a sad loss of the Lancaster bandstand this month. I thought we'd gone beyond that now in local authorities."

The council demolished the bandstand, which was in a poor state, this summer after turning down a request to return it to its original home in Morecambe.

Lancaster Council said: "The bandstand, which has been a feature on the park since the 1960s but not used for its true purpose in decades, has been the subject of repeated vandalism over the years.
"It has now deteriorated to the point where it is unsafe and will be removed as part of the approved masterplan for the park.

"During our consultation on the future planning for the park there was no evidence that people wanted a bandstand in the park, or wanted to divert resources to restoring one."

The park's friends' group said the bandstand was hindering efforts to make the park a Green Flag winner.

Rabbitts says there are some likely park bandstand restorations in hand, in Swanage, Rugby and Sherborne, though any planned work on a bandstand Leamington Spa drags on. 

Watford has 11 Green Flags parks newly announced, the most for a council in Hertfordshire, and Rabbitts says there is no reason why that cannot increase to 15 in the future.

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