Sunday, 14 May 2017

Bandstands ............... nu 2 back in Victoria Park in Swinton

Now I grew up with bandstands.

Almost any park worthy of the title public park had one.

But sadly by the time I was allowed to go off and play on my own all of the bandstands I can remember had become sorry looking things.

The ornate iron pillars had long gone, and no one came to listen to the bands who long ago had packed up their instruments and moved on.

So in celebration of all that was and has returned, here is the promised series on bandstands.

It started with a photograph from Antony and continues with a painting by Peter of the one in Victoria Park.*

It was built around 1897 when the park was laid out it embodies all that civic pride which said there was more to life than work, mean streets, and dark horizons.

According to one new book on public parks, the bandstand owed much to the 19th century’s fascination with the Orient.  The basic design may have been copied from “the raised –platform kiosks seen in Turkey and across the Ottoman empire” but was overlaid with influences from Indian palaces and temples.**

The French had shown one of these Turkish stands off at the International Exhibition in Paris in 1855 and what followed was a succession of developments over here with the first unveiled at the Royal Horticultural Show in South Kensington and later moved out to parks in Southwark and Peckham where I came across them as a young boy in the 1950s.

Location; Swinton

Painting; the bandstand in Victoria Park, Swinton, © 2016 Peter Topping
Web: www.paintingsfrompictures.co.uk

*Antony Mills gave me permission to use his photograph earlier in the month

**A Walk in the Park, Travis Elborough 2016, pages 155-56

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