Welcome to Maygrove Peace Park
Historical Background to Maygrove Peace Park
200 years ago, the park was on the land of Hall Oak Manor Farm. Following the extension of the Midland Railway into St Pancras in the 1860’s, the site became used as the West End railway sidings – reflected in the names of Sidings Community Centre and the West End Sidings estate. Brassey Roadon the Estate takes its name from Thomas Brassey, the civil engineer responsible for building the railway line into St Pancras. Significantly, Thomas Brassey was thought to be one of the first men to have a vision of building a Channel Tunnel, but failed to convince the governments of the day of its worth. He was credited as being responsible for 1 in every 3 miles of railway track laid during his lifetime. Barlow Road takes its name from William Barlow, the great railway shed builder of his time, responsible for the original St Pancras station with its magnificent roof. The park retains this close identity with the railway with such features as railway tracks and logos in the children’s playground.
Peace in the Park
On 27th April 1983, Camden Council agreed to designate Maygrove a Peace Park as a reminder of the Council’s commitment to Peace. The opening of the park was timed to co-incide with the 39th Anniversary of the Nagasaki Day on 9th August 1984. The Mayor of Nagasaki replied, “We hope yourPeacePark will be remembered long as a symbol of Peace”, and a thousand white balloons were released into the air.
Peace Symbols in the park:
The park is proud of its peace symbols and features. At theMaygrove Road entrance, Hamish Black’s Peace Crane represents the Japanese origami crane which is linked to the story of the little girl called Sadoko, a victim of Hiroshoma. Winding up through the park is the Peace Walk, with 7 stones inscribed with messages of peace from famous people over the years. At the top of the park sits Antony Gormley’s wonderful “untitled (listening)” statue, and beneath it is the powerful granite block which symbolises “part of the old deep history of the planet… sculpted by time”. On the high slope above the playground, the cherry tree is a burst of pink blossom each spring, marking the cherry tree which continued to bloom throughout the holocaust of Hiroshima – a triumph of nature over mankind.
Maygrove Friends Group
Following several Peace Festivals in the mid 80’s, the park fell into decline during the 1990’s. However, from 2004 a group of local enthusiasts campaigned to refurbish the park, with redesigned landscaping and planting to bring out its contours and improving play and sports facilities – see photo gallery. Following extensive consultation, the Maygrove Peace Park Friends Group was officially formed in February 2009. As a mark of our progress, the Friends Group were immensely proud that the park was awarded Green Flag Status in July 2010. If you are interested in the activities of the Friends Group, or would like to become a member please contact Sidings Community Centre located at the top of the park, or call us on 020-7625-6260. The Friends Group will continue to campaign for the park and its facilities – look out for news of our forthcoming activities on this website.