Parklife: Parkinson Park - a green oasis in West Yorkshire

"Park Life" is a new series presented by our weather forecaster Jon Mitchell, who loves getting out and about in the countryside.

Jon has been visiting some of the region's great outdoor spaces, from the "traditional" to the "linear", meeting the volunteers who maintain the parks for the enjoyment of all.


Jon's next stop on his tour is in a West Yorkshire town where wealthy factory owners made a green oasis where workers could relax.

Parkinson Park in Guiseley was created next to a major electric motor manufacturing plant by its philanthropic owners, the Parkinson Brothers.

Frank and Albert Parkinson bought the land as a green space for workers

Frank and Albert Parkinson formed the successful electric motor manufacturing company just before the First World War, and bought the land as a green space to be enjoyed by everyone.

They really believed in looking after their employees, providing all sorts of facilities for them. After they had a particular good period at the end of the 1930s, 1936/37 they actually invested a lot back into the community and they bought all the fields here put them all together for a park for the employees.

Jennifer Kirkby, Friends of Parkinson Park

But when the factory closed, the area deteriorated.

I would come up here and sit on one of the benches, enjoy the views, perhaps read a book and it would relax you before you went back into the office for the rest of the afternoon. I did some filming at the time they knocked the building down in 2006. It was a very sad thing to watch because it was not only myself who worked there but a lot of local people had always known that factory.

David Myers, Retired factory worker

Around ten years ago locals decided to take matters into their own hands, and formed a group to bring the park back to its former glory.

It now provides a welcome space for locals to enjoy a relaxing walk and a breath of fresh air.