The trust which was formed to fulfil the dreams of Wicksteed Park founder Charles Wicksteed is celebrating 100 years of inspiring children’s play.
The Wicksteed Charitable Trust is honouring the anniversary by holding a ball to mark the exact day it was formed a century ago.
The event will be held in the park’s Edwardian Pavilion on Friday, January 29, and proceeds will help the Wicksteed Charitable Trust to fund a reproduction of the first slide in the park; a structure that was to change the history of children’s play forever.
The park was founded in 1921 by Charles Wicksteed, the creator of swings and slides as we know them today, as part of his vision to inspire and encourage play as part of families’ health and well-being.
The Wicksteed Charitable Trust was formed to ensure his work continued after his death.
The centenary ball will celebrate the achievements of the trust over the past 100 years, as well as showcasing its vision for the future.
Oliver Wicksteed, chairman of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust and Charles Wicksteed’s great grandson, said: “The trust has endured for one hundred years and kept alive Charles Wicksteed’s dream to provide healthy play for children and families, despite facing many challenges, and with no regular external funding.
“Incredibly, access to the park’s outstanding facilities remains free of charge.
“This is a testament to generations of trustees and staff who have wholeheartedly embraced Charles’ vision and striven to keep it alive and relevant.
“The fact is that the challenge of maintaining the park for all these years has probably been as great as the challenges Charles initially faced in its foundation.
“Today, as we look backwards and reflect upon our rich heritage, we are also looking forward to what lies ahead.”
One of the trust’s main goals is to maintain free access to the park, despite having no regular external funding to rely on, and the trust is determined to ensure the park has a sustainable future.
Wicksteed Park managing director Alasdair McNee said: “We want to re-instate the feel of the original park and continue to encourage natural play, where children enjoy, free play simply through using their imagination.”
For more details or to buy tickets for the ball visit wicksteedpark.org/events/ email the box office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01536 512475.
Tickets are £35 each, with discounts available for tables of eight people.