History of The Memorial Park
Sir Julius Wernher purchased the Luton Hoo Estate and the Manor of Luton from Madame de Falbe around 1903. He carried out substantial renovation works to the Manor and grounds. On his death in 1912 the estate passed to Lady Ludlow.
Lady Ludlow presented the Park to the people of Luton on the 12th June 1920 in memory of her son Alex Piggott Werner who was killed in action during the First World War (1916). She unveiled the War Memorial to her son, which is located in a central position in the park, at a ceremony on 10th December 1922 and the site was officially named Luton Hoo Memorial Park.
Council records state that the area was purchased under the Statutory Powers of the Public Health Acts. The description provided in the Deeds is 15 Cutenhoe Road - Land at r/o (Memorial Park) Park Land.
Council minutes from 1922 and 1923 provide information that helps to paint a picture of the park environment at that time. These suggest that the original park benefited from a range of facilities, considered at the time to improve public health including a bandstand, tearoom, glasshouses, a shelter and public toilets.
Other interesting snippets from the Council records help to complete a picture of activity at the park during this period, for example
- on 17th October 1922 S. Burr, gardener at Wardown Park was placed in charge of Luton Hoo Memorial Park at the recommendation of the Parks Superintendent
- Luton Corporation constructed the Southern and Northern entrances to the Park from Tennyson Road in 1923 at a cost of £830
- Park security in 1923 was provided through a Park Constable employed at the site and Messrs Dudley and Johnston Ltd were invited to sell refreshments in the Memorial Park until 23rd June 1923
- In the same year the “serials” Costume Concert Party were permitted to give concerts at The Memorial Park bandstand, which is described as a teak structure constructed by A. Cole Ltd at a cost of £899
Regular park users who can remember the park from their youth suggest that other features included a pitch and putt, an ornamental rockery and a reflective garden area and promenade adjacent to the Memorial.
Do you have any memories of Memorial Park? Do you have pictures of the original park features such as the bandstand or the pitch and putt? If so we would love to hear from you. Please email/post them in, contact details below.
Wardown Park, Old Bedford Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU2 7HA
Tel: 01582 546000