Town’s “hidden gem” celebrates 100 years

Joseph Bulmer

Bicclescombe Park marks a centenary as Ilfracombe’s quiet haven

AN Ilfracombe park celebrated 100 years of tranquillity and beauty at a special “birthday party” on Thursday.

Bicclescombe Park looked magnificent despite the rain when park manager Mike Jones joined Rotarians and park users to mark the occasion with a special Green Flag raising ceremony.

The flag – Keep Britain Tidy’s badge of honour for the country’s best green spaces – was the first ever awarded in North Devon and has now been proudly flown at the North Devon Council-owned park for the last eight years.

The council’s executive Member for Culture, Councillor Derrick Spear said: “It’s fantastic that the park has been giving people so much pleasure for so long.

“I have many happy memories of playing at the park as a child, as I’m sure so many other people do. The park is being managed so well and has such active community support that I’m sure it will be going strong for many more years to come.”

Formally opened in January 1911, the park is considered this to be one of the hidden gems in Ilfracombe’s crown. It boasts seven tennis courts, a children’s play area, restored corn mill, tea rooms and model boating lake.

Thursday’s birthday celebrations featured arts and crafts, tennis taster sessions, model boating, croquet demonstrations and fund-raising activities.