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History of Bennett's Rec?


Tracey Bennett
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Does anyone know anything of the history of Bennett's Rec? I'm assuming it was named after Alderman Arthur Bennett but don't know if this is definitely the case. Who decided to purchase the land, turn it into a sports ground, give it it's name????

 

I'm quite fascinated by the place after growing up right by it and not knowing until recently that I'm actually (distantly) related to Arthur Bennett. The number of times I had to say "No, not these Bennetts, nothing to do with us" and I was wrong all along :rolleyes:

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Does anyone know anything of the history of Bennett's Rec? I'm assuming it was named after Alderman Arthur Bennett but don't know if this is definitely the case. Who decided to purchase the land, turn it into a sports ground, give it it's name????

 

I'm quite fascinated by the place after growing up right by it and not knowing until recently that I'm actually (distantly) related to Arthur Bennett. The number of times I had to say "No, not these Bennetts, nothing to do with us" and I was wrong all along :rolleyes:

 

Tracey I have done quite a bit of digging regarding Bennett's Rec and I'm afraid I have drawn a blank.

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I know that Alderman Arthur Bennett apparently 'donated' the land as a recreation (public use) area Tracey but I don't know if that was in his official capacity as Mayor of Warrington or personal.

 

Could be that the council owned it and 'he' gave it that way or could be that he owned and donated it himself. He was a passionate believer in the importance of preserving Warrington's historic and natural environment.

 

Shame there's not many like him these days eh?

 

Not much use probably :oops:

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I know that Alderman Arthur Bennett apparently 'donated' the land as a recreation (public use) area Tracey but I don't know if that was in his official capacity as Mayor of Warrington or personal.

 

Could be that the council owned it and 'he' gave it that way or could be that he owned and donated it himself. He was a passionate believer in the importance of preserving Warrington's historic and natural environment.

 

Shame there's not many like him these days eh?

 

Not much use probably :oops:

 

I think you going along the right lines Dizz, the 1908 map pre WWI below shows that the land appeared to be farm land whereas the 1928 shows it as a Recreation Ground with a War Memorial on it, most War Memorials were built around 1920/21 onwards and many villages donated ground for the recreation of troops returning home from the First World War, this is probably what happened at Padgate.

Alderman Arthur Bennett either owned or had the Council purchase the land, either way he must have had some involvement to have it named after him.

 

Alderman Arthur Bennett 15 Nov 1862, d. 14 Dec 1931

 

This quotation is from Francis Firth's website.

This pleasant open space next to the railway line was donated as a recreation ground by Alderman Arthur Bennett, a former mayor and a passionate believer in the importance of preserving Warrington's historic and natural environment. Padgate's memorial obelisk to the 1914-18 war points to Padgate Camp, where millions of RAF recruits did their basic training between 1939-53.

 

1908.jpg

 

1927.jpg

 

Hope this is helpful Tracey.

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I was always lead to understand that it was previously farmland and that Alderman Bennett presumably was related to the Bennetts Farm family one of which was in Bruche Ave.

Bruche Ave North connects to Padgate Lane which crosses into Tidal Lane which ran through onto that land. On the arrival of the railway there was a level crossing in Tidal Lane which could have been to allow the Bennetts access onto their land.(This was later removed and fenced up)

The family also owned what most of us remember as Paddington House and a lot of ground in the area.

On the old rec entrance there was a stone or plaque stating the ground had been donated to the parish by Alderman Bennett.

There was a hut where old folks used to play dominoes, swings that we used to play on, the war memorial and of course later a couple of air raid shelters one of which was used for years as the St John Ambulance HQ in Padgate. Much later of course Woolston Rovers made use of the rec for Rugby.

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That's wonderful thank you all! I especially like the image of the old folks playing on the swings :wink:

 

We had our wedding reception at Paddington House (I won't comment on the quality of the experience :rolleyes: ) at the time not knowing that we were actually related to Arthur Bennett, allebit through the grubby end of the family.

 

Is the memorial stone still there? I may pay a visit on my next trip up north.

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