Monday, July 16, 2012

Hagley Park

Hagley Park has been an integral part of the city since its foundation over 160 years ago. We have a lot to thank our forefathers for.
Many of my childhood and adolescent years were spent playing soccer and rugby in this park. Soccer was my true love but I was forced to play rugby at school. So it was rugby during the week and soccer at the weekend. I doubt there was a rugby or soccer pitch that I didn't play on in both North and South Hagley.
Interestingly, it was in north Hagley Park - and playing soccer, not rugby - that I incurred all my footy injuries - one broken leg and two broken arms!
Best of all was the fish and chip shop at the beginning of Riccarton Road just by 'Nancy's' pub (no longer there) where you could buy 3d worth of chips (~2-3 cents to you youngies) after the game.
And then in later years whilst working at Christchurch Hospital, I ran around both parks every lunchtime - sometimes clockwise, sometimes counterclockwise, sometimes a figure eight - any variation to stave off the boredom (whatever that means!). This daily ritual continued for a great many years. Nowadays, Chris and I walk it occasionally.

Over the last few weeks I have been wandering the park in the frosty dawn endeavouring to capture some images for a client. This tree has always been a favourite of mine in north Hagley. Interestingly it is called the 'Lone Oak' but is a beech tree according to the plaque.
It is not until you look closely that you notice that a great many trees in Hagley Park in fact have plaques at their base commemorating something or in memory of someone. The 'Lone Oak' and its plaque brought back many memories of my playing days and the whole team gravitating to the nearest tree to our playing field. The City Council tried to put a road through north Hagley once - and more recently since the earthquakes, there have been rumblings of utilising Hagley for other purposes.
Leave it alone!!

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