Join us to celebrate the 130th birthday of Cheetham Park on Sunday 20 September 2015 COME TO OUR FREE EVENTS
2pm FILM AT MANCHESTER JEWISH MUSEUM
3pm CRAFT CLUBS – come and make paper bowls with dried flowers LOCAL HISTORICAL AND LEISURE WALKS, COME AND JOIN CHEETHAM AND CRUMPSALL HERITAGE SOCIETY
5pm LIVE MUSIC BY SACRED SOUND MULTI FAITH WOMEN’S CHOIR http://www.sacredsoundswomenschoir.org.uk
ADDRESS: Cheetham park – Elizabeth Street, Manchester, M8 8BQ
Manchester Jewish Museum-190 Cheetham Hill Rd, Manchester M8 8LW
Created in 2013 as part of the MIF Creative programme for the fourth Manchester International Festival, the Choir welcomes women of all ages, faiths, cultures and backgrounds to join us in our journey to promote peace, compassion and understanding through song and silence.
The Choir has recently been involved in a number of creative collaborations and commissions with local and international artists including a special performance of a new lullaby composed specifically for the choir by Beth Allen and Jason Singh as part of The Royal Exchange’s event, ‘A NIGHT AT THE THEATRE… ‘ and a five-month project with Manchester International Festival developing a vocal soundscapes to a new commission for MIF15 called ‘Neck of the Woods’, directed by Turner prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon as well as getting involved in many other elements and commissions as part of MIF15.
Torange Khonsari, Public Works – Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence, Manchester Jewish Museum
Torange Khonsari engages in participatory art projects using mobile structures and temporary interventions to re-imagine redundant spaces in the city and find those who can become its custodians. She works with local communities to transform these spaces into public assets. Torange is interested in the transformation of the temporal public actions into permanent moments of trust and ultimately commitment, to reclaim fragments of the city for public interest. Her artistic interest is in how spaces, artefacts and structures are produced through social relationships. Her practice investigates how this process of collective engagement leads to innovative ways of brining art and culture to the city’s public realm and what lasting impact it can leave behind.
Torange has been working at the Manchester Jewish Museum as artist-in-residence funded by the Leverhulme Trust for the last seven months. Over this time she has held a range of craft workshops and clubs in willow weaving, dyeing and other textiles techniques, some in the Museum and some in Cheetham Park. She has also helped established a History Society and a programme of talks and other events which engage local communities in history and heritage of Cheetham Park and the surrounding area.
The inauguration of Cheetham Park by Abi Gilmore & Patrick Doyle
“Cheetham Park was formally opened to the public on 26 September 1885. Nestled between the houses that lined the Elizabeth Street and Sherbourne Street, the park covers a rather modest 5 ½ acres. The park was enclosed off from Elizabeth Street by ‘brick panelled wall surmounted with stone coping and ornamental cast-iron railing; and the other three sides of the park have been enclosed with wrought-iron hurdles fixed on stone curb.’ The Manchester Parks Committee installed resources to ensure that the park might be used by locals as a space for exercise. A bowling green was provided alongside a boys and girls gymnasium, each one ‘fitted up with the modern amenities’. The park housed three lawns of roughly half an acre each, a series of paths laid out criss-crossing the park and a rockery. A series of buildings were also found on the site and these included the entrance lodge, two shelters, a propagating house, tool-house and bowl-house.
Cheetham Park was the first such public park to be opened in Manchester for some time. Manchester had pioneered the establishment of public parks in Britain by opening Queen’s Park, Philips Park and Peel Park (later transferred to Salford) in 1846. Political debate around the provision of public parks in the early nineteenth century was a reaction to industrialisation. In that period, opinion gradually shifted from viewing commons ground as a productive resource into a public amenity. The timing of Cheetham Park’s arrival coincided with the outset of a new popular enthusiasm for public parks across Britain, which lasted roughly from 1885 until the outbreak of the First World War. More public parks were established in these years across Britain, than in any other period before or since.
At the start of the 1880s, local politicians such as Harry Rawson, a candidate for the Cheetham ward in the 1881 municipal elections, traded upon the fact that Manchester had pioneered the public park and set an example for the rest of country, and publicly appealed for the electorate’s support. After a resolution at a meeting of ratepayers for the township of Cheetham, the Parks Committee of Manchester Corporation committed to raising funds and finding a suitable plot. This was not without contention, particularly over the site, with much lobbying for a small park which was not simply pastoral, but also a space for active exercise, with suggestions for income generation and business models, including amenities such as a concert and exhibition hall and skating rink, as well as playground and open space. Eventually the plot on Elizabeth Street was secured from Lord Derby with the full cost for the land and its drainage met by the Corporation. Cheetham Park’s beginnings tell us much about the political and social interest in parks at the time, and the value they were perceived to play for local communities. They also raise the question of responsibility, ownership and sustainability for the park today if local communities are to continue to enjoy its benefits.”
This is an edited extract from the historical report on Cheetham Park, written by Dr. Patrick Doyle for Understanding Everyday Participation. For further information and to download a full copy of the report visit www.everydayparticipation.org.uk