Addison Howard Park
Addison Howard Park, Kempston's Recreation Ground Opened
Bedfordshire Times, Friday 26th March 1937
Kempston's new recreation ground, the Addison Howard Park, was opened to the public on Tuesday by Mrs. Harold Howard. The residents of Kempston have reason to be grateful to Mrs. Howard for her kindness in giving five acres of her estate to supply one of Kempston's most urgent needs. Mrs. Howard also made herself responsible for the gates and the fencing.
The Park is hidden from the road by a thick belt of trees and shrubbery and is equipped with swings, see-saws and seats.
Despite the cold wind there was a large attendance at the opening.
Invitation to the ceremony was restricted to friends of Mrs. Howard who knew her son and to the members (and their wives) of the Kempston Urban Council, all the members of which were present with the exception of Mr G.G.P. Goldney, who is away from home.
Referring to the death of her son, Mr. Addison Howard, Mrs. Howard said: "Some of you knew him and loved him, and those who knew him best will approve of what I am doing this afternoon. He, like countless other young men gave his life for the sake of his country, and I am sure he wished that this little piece of England, which he loved so well, should remain unchanged to give pleasure to the people." Mrs. Howard then declared the park open.
Mr. E.E. Smith (chairman of the Kempston Urban District Council) said that it was a red-letter day in Kempston and would go down in history as a day which they had looked forward to for years. The developments in the district had gradually robbed the children of their play-grounds. In Mrs. Howard they had one of the greatest benefactors Kempston had ever known. Mrs Howard had graciously given them land for a playground for the children and a rest-park for the older folk. As the children passed through the gates he hoped they would revere the memory of the one to whom it was dedicated, and as the older folk entered he hoped they would honour the park as the name of Howard was honoured in Kempston. He thanked Mrs. Howard on behalf of the officers of the Council and on behalf of the residents of Kempston for her gift. He presented her with a silver key.
Mr. B.G. Shorten said that he was connected with Messrs. J. and F. Howard for more than forty years. At one time he spent almost a fortnight with Mr. Addison Howard, shortly after he came back from school. "During that time," said Mr Shorten, "he was a young man full of life and vigour and full of hope for the future. He went to serve his King and country, but never returned. To-day we honour his memory as we honour the name of the great family of Howard for what they have done for Kempston, Bedford and the world."
After the ceremony Mrs. Howard planted a tree.
Bedfordshire Times, reproduced with permission.
Page last updated: 30th January 2014