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Charles Wicksteed's House

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BikinGlynn

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Charles Wicksteed is an well known name in Kettering, he was as an inventor and engineer who moved to Kettering as a Steam Ploughing contractor who set up an engineering company.

After the war he primarily designed and built play equipment, often using bits and pieces from his engineering business, and creating swings and slides to thrill young and old alike. This business grew, eventually exporting play equipment to over 80 countries around the world .



Charles purchased land in 1913 & in 1921 opened what is now the oldest "theme park" in the UK. He put into practice his deep-held belief that all children, no matter how rich or poor, should have somewhere safe and fun to play outdoors.

It is believed that he pledged in his will that the park & play equipment should remain free access to all the people of Kettering, which to this day it is.

The park has the oldest ride in Europe (a water chute) which Iv recently had the privilege of welding the seriously decaying structural beams supporting the "boat" at the top.



Wicksteed engineering is still going but is now separate from the park which is a charitable trust, chances are anywhere in the country you will find swings & roundabouts in your local park bearing the wicksteed name


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On to his house, not much to tell really.

This was a sizeable house off Northampton road, after his death It was last used as an annex to a Nunnery and is now being redeveloped very tastefully by Bastion Build.

I was fortunate enough to be able to sneak a few pics mid refurb. Nothing that exciting inside bar some nice architecture. Not great pics either but thought it worth sharing.


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Thanks For Looking
 

Richard Davies

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I went to the park a few times when I was younger as I have some relatives in the area.
 

BikinGlynn

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I went to the park a few times when I was younger as I have some relatives in the area.

Most people know it, its a bit rubbish in "theme park" terms but does have a certain old school feel about it & has recently had a large injection of cash which has helped
 

alex76

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Hello mate long to no speak .... there taking there time restoring the place they started it before I moved away from Kettering and that was coming up to a couple of years now but it's good that they are as most lovely buildings in Kettering just get pulled down ..last time I was in there I got sent on my way by the local constabulary�� nice photos of the place fella
 

Mearing

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Thanks for that BG. Played on Wicksteeds swings etc as a child in Reading 80 years ago. Nostalgic one, guess it is for many others too! Thanks again.
 

The Wombat

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Excellent, as always. Like the staircase shots
I think I visited the park too, but was probably more than a couple of decades ago :O
 

Richard Davies

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Most people know it, its a bit rubbish in "theme park" terms but does have a certain old school feel about it & has recently had a large injection of cash which has helped

I certainly remember being able to have fun there, when I trip to a theme park was a rare treat for me.
 

jamboree

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Most people know it, its a bit rubbish in "theme park" terms but does have a certain old school feel about it & has recently had a large injection of cash which has helped

Yes but not all children like the big fast rides at the big theme parks. I loved it as a child and so did my daughter. It also is not so expensive making it suitable for most families as originally stated by Charles Wicksteeds wishesl
 
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