History of the Park - Posted by admin

Donation of the Park by Alderman Eastwood :

Dear Mr Mayor,

I have purchased Hasland House and the adjoining 15 acres or thereabouts of land with the object of asking the corporation to accept the property for a public park in memory of my late father, who was a native of Hasland and was so long and intimately connected with the town and neighbourhood. I desire to place no restrictions upon the corporation in their control and management of the property, except that it should be kept as a public park or recreation ground under the public health acts, exactly like the present park, for the inhabitants of the borough for ever. Subject to this my wishes are as follows:

1. That it should be called 'Hasland Park'
2. That for the period of five years the corporation will not spend any public money on the laying out, or otherwise, of the land except in erecting the fence by which, under the terms of the sale of the land to me, the property must be closed.
3. As regards the house I leave it open for the corporation to use it in a way which may seem to them best likely to meet the needs of the public it might be utilised as a branch library, or a public institute, or in other ways. I should only stipulate that no license for the sale of intoxicants should be attached to it.
4. That the strip of land required for the completion of the widening on the Mansfield main road should be given up and appropriated for that purpose. The plan shows the strip of land.
5. That during the next five years the property shall be placed in charge of the borough surveyor for the time being, and that the necessary upkeep should be carried out by his supervision.

The purchase is due for completion on the fourth day of June next, and if my gift be accepted, I propose that the property shall be conveyed direct to the corporation.

I am, Dear Mr Mayor,
Yours, very truly,
G.A.Eastwood.

His Worship the Mayor of Chesterfield.

Grateful Acceptance

The council as a body at once signified its appreciation of the sterling gift by spontaneous and unanimous applause.

Ald. C.P. Markham (the Deputy Mayor), who presided at the meeting, in the absence of the Duke of Devonshire, at once rose and said: 'This has no doubt taken us all by surprise, and I am sorry that his Worship the Mayor is not here to express in far better terms than I can, the appreciation of this Council for this most generous and handsome gift.' (Applause.)

'Hasland is now set up for all time. It has got a very wide street and Ald. Eastwood has finished it off by giving one of the most handsome parks there will be in this part of the world. At this time of the year it is simply a carpet blue, with all the crocus in bloom; it is a very warm sheltered spot, and very dear to all of us who have lived in that neighbourhood. (Applause.) In giving this land Alderman Eastwood is forming another link between Chesterfield and the name of Eastwood, and is making it more dear to us than it was before.' (Applause.)

The late Alderman Edward Eastwood was born in Hasland, continued Ald. Markham, and he hoped that Hasland would produce many more men who would try to emulate him. The late Ald. Eastwood was a man of great character, perseverance and industry. He never did an injustice or said a bad word of anybody; a man of peace he was well beloved by all citizens of Chesterfield.

'I am thankful,' concluded the speaker, 'that such a worthy father had such a worthy son, and that he recognises that he is the son of his father, and I move that we, as a Corporation, accept in deep gratitude this gift in memory of the life of a man whose industry carried out large works, not only in this neighbourhood but also in other parts of the country. I beg to move that this Corporation on behalf of the town offer to Ald. Eastwood it's heartiest thanks for his gift in memory of his late father, whose life we are only too pleased to commemorate.' (Prolonged Applause.)

Councillor W.B. Robinson (the present Mayor), in seconding, expressed the delightful surprise the gift had produced.

'There is, however, one thing I should like to see altered in the conditions,' observed Mayor Robinson, 'and that is instead of calling it 'Hasland Park' it should be called 'Eastwood Park' (Hear, here.) I should like Alderman Eastwood, for his fatherís sake, to change itís name to 'Eastwood Park', and I am sure the town would very much appreciate it if he would.' (Applause.)
Chesterfield, he said, had a tremendous lot to thank the late Alderman Eastwood and the present Ald. Eastwood for. He need mention only one thing Ė the Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Hospital, one of the greatest charities the town and district possessed. How deeply the inhabitants were indebted to the Eastwood family they all knew, and therefore, it was with the greatest possible pleasure he seconded the vote of thanks. (Applause.)

These appreciations were added to by the other members - particularly by Hasland representatives - and the gift was accepted with enthusiasm.

The Donor's Reply

In reply to references, Alderman Eastwood remarked that there was no reason for Aldermam Markham to make an apology that he, and not his Duke of Devonshire, was occupying the chair, because there was no onehe should have personally have selected to perform this particular duty than the Deputy Mayor. (Applause.) As to what Councillor Robinson had said in suggesting the change of title, he hoped that neither Councillor Robinson nor the Council would press him furtheron the point, as he preferred the Park to remain in the name he had suggested.

'The opportunity to acquire the property has given me great pleasure, and I hope that those who use the grounds in the future will have equal pleasure. I have only one thing further to say, and that is that the excellent example set by the Deputy Mayor during the past few years has been catching - (laughter) -and has influenced me to a certain extent in making this gift. Another word: Under the Borough Surveyor I have the greatest possible pleasure in dealing with the details and in acquiring these grounds.' (Applause.)

The donor's modesty in connection with the naming of the Park has since been overcome to the extent of allowing the park to bear the name of 'Eastwood Park.'

© Friends of Eastwood Park 2009