New facilities by Gheluvelt Park Splashpad now open

As the heatwave continues and schools break up for six weeks, new facilities – including an ice cream and snack kiosk and new toilets – have been launched by Gheluvelt Park’s popular Splashpad.

Worcester City Council has invested £325,000 to create a new Sons of Rest pavilion, replacing the old building which had reached the end of its natural life.  The work was carried out over the first half of the year by West Midlands contractor Abbey and Lyndon.

The Mayor of Worcester, Cllr Jabba Riaz says:  “I’d like to thank the Friends of Gheluvelt Park, who were the original driving force behind this project.

“The new Pavilion we’re unveiling this week has been guided by their vision, in partnership with the City Council, the Sons of Rest, the Worcester Regiment and the Duckworth Worcestershire Trust.  I hope generations to come will enjoy and make the most of these fantastic new park facilities.”

The new Pavilion has a bookable community room with an adjoining kitchen; five individual unisex toilets, including a disabled toilet and baby-changing facilities. 

The Worcestershire Duckworth Trust is operating the new Pavilion’s kiosk, which will sell ice creams, teas, coffees, cold drinks including milk shakes, plus hot and cold snacks including sandwiches, crisps and cakes.  It has a no single-use plastics policy and will also cater for gluten-free diets and vegans.

The kiosk will open to the public on Friday 27 July.  During the summer months the kiosk will be open (on a trial basis) from 9.00am - 5.00pm, and 9.00am – 4.00pm in the winter.

Current members of the Sons of Rest movement are invited to a sit-down lunch at the launch of the new Pavilion on Thursday 26 July.  Members of the movement regularly met to play cards, dominoes and darts in the old pavilion, which was built by the Rotary Club in 1953 to commemorate the coronation of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth The Second. 

The original Sons of Rest sign and plaque are now proudly hung at the entrance to the new community room in this new building.

The timbers from the original Sons of Rest building were sold by the Worcester Resource Exchange and Abbey & Lyndon, earlier in the year.

A time capsule will also be buried at a mystery location in the park.  The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association have donated two regimental greatcoat buttons and a copy of the order of service for the Battle of Gheluvelt’s centenary commemoration.  The Gheluvelt Park Sons of Rest group have donated a photo of themselves and a domino and playing card, representing the pastimes they enjoy.

The Mayor of Worcester Cllr Jabba Riaz, The Friends of Gheluvelt Park and the Gheluvelt Park Healthy Walking group are also among those to have contributed items.

More about Sons of Rest

The Sons of Rest movement started in Birmingham in 1927 when a group of ‘industrial veterans’ met at Handsworth Park. Their first purpose-built building was erected in 1930 and the movement expanded to over 3,000 members in 29 parks.  The Sons of Rest exist to promote social and leisure activities for men and women over the age of 60 who reside in the area. 

There are Sons of Rest buildings in Gheluvelt Park and Cripplegate Park, with the existing Gheluvelt pavilion built in 1953.  At present there are 25 members of the Gheluvelt Sons of Rest club.  The City Council is responsible for the internal and external fabric of the buildings and its insurance.

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