Great Britain

'Let's bring back the boats': Calls to re-open boat house at 'beautiful' park

Paddle boats on the lake in Queen’s Park in Audley were a common sight but were last seen there over a decade ago.

The old boat house has also been cordoned off by the council due to ‘environmental concerns’. 
The park was officially opened on June 20 1887, at a cost of £10,000 when it was dedicated as a Golden Jubilee memorial to Queen Victoria. The boathouse according to records dates back to 1894. 

The main feature in the park is a serpentine lake covering about 1.4 hectares.

Its rowing boats and sailing boats were so popular, that in 1936, the Corporation stopped leasing the boating rights to private owners and took over the business itself.

Local ward councillors Altaf Patel and Yusuf Jan Virmani said they would support any new campaign to relaunch the boat house. 

Lancashire Telegraph:

Lancashire Telegraph:

Cllr Altaf Patel said he was had been talking to many residents who were keen for the boats to relaunch on the lake in the summer.

He said: “I would like the council to consider a partnership with community groups in the area to provide boating facilities in the park.

“The park can be run and maintained by the group to oversee boating in the Queen’s Park lake. It would bring more people into the park and it would provide families with picnic opportunities from other areas.

“I would request the council to start a dialogue with the community in forming a partnership just like those seen in the running of some of the community centres. The boating facilities would be fantastic and could be provided in the summertime only.

“I am sure the council can help with some funding and the community group could apply for funding from other sources. I know we have a good community to take responsibility and the make the project work.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Cllr Virmani said he had already looked into the matter but there had been some issues to overcome. He said: “It is something we have looked at already and residents have spoken about this. Presently there are some environmental concerns regarding the boat house which need to addressed that is why is closed off. In particular with the growth of Japanese knotweed. 

“It would be good for someone or group to take responsibility and I am happy to support in any way I can.

“We would like for the boat house to be brought back into use like anyone else. It would be genuinely great for the park and the town.”

Cllr Patel added: “It is a fantastic asset for our town and the area of Audley and Queen’s Park.
“The park needs investment from the council. It is a beautiful location and a beautiful location in the centre of our town.”

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