"This is terrible news." Readers react to Wicksteed Park's slide into administration

The people of Northants are shocked by the sad news

By Phoebe Radford
Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 11:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 11:16 am

Wicksteed Park Limited, which runs the park, has folded with the loss of 115 jobs. The parks land is owned by Wicksteed Charitable Trust which is now appealing for donations and backing a new company in a bid to save the park.

The huge reaction to this news shows just how much the people of Kettering and the rest of Northamptonshire love Wickys.

Readers have been reacting to the sad news about Wicksteed Park

The Northants Telegraph's stories have been shared more thousands of times and attracted hundreds of comments from readers sharing their shock and sadness.

Expressing the thoughts of many who have loved Wicksteed through their lives, Mandy Love described her "endless memories" at the Park and said: "(For) most people in Kettering (their) childhoods revolved around Wicksteed.

"Whether it was getting chased by Tony the security guard, getting caught by teachers if you sneaked over there during school, working there, cycling there with your friends and playing in the waterfall, cutting through Wicksteed on the way back from Reflections to Barton.

"And then taking our own children there and telling them your funny stories of the park, showing them where you worked.

"All those memories are priceless and it will be such a shame to lose it. I really hope we can save a park full of memories."

Many comments simply said how sad the news was, like Yvonne Goldsworth, who said: "That's so sad, hope someone can rescue it."

Others, like Mandy, reflected on their memories at Wicksteed and how generations of their family had enjoyed the park.

Teresa Bell said: "A visit to Wicksteed Park in the 1950s from Luton was a tremendous treat. I may be wrong but I think it was a Vauxhall Motors Day Trip on a coach.

"My children loved it in the 1980s and 1990s, I do so hope I will still be able to take my young grandchildren to Wicksteed Park in the future."

Val Boyles said: "That's a shame, had lots of great times there going as a child myself and then taking my own children and then grandchildren."

Similarly, David Atkinson said: "Tragic. Spent so many happy times there with children and grandchildren over past 50 years."

Wicksteed is loved far and wide and Laura Holden from Louisiana, USA, said: "This was one of my mom and dad's favourite places!

"I want for my children and grandchildren to experience this magical place when we are able to travel to England again."

Wicksteed Park's importance locally was shown by a comment from the founder of local breast cancer charity, Crazy Hats, Glennis Hooper. Crazy Hats has held many fundraising events in the park.

Glennis said: "The ‘home’ of Crazy Hats for 19 wonderful years! Such sad, sad news. Our love and thoughts are with all our friends at Wicksteed Park.

"Thinking hats on now to try and save such a wonderful, wonderful attraction! Come on people of Northamptonshire, surely we can do this - we must!"

Wicksteed Park has set up a JustGiving page which has been flooded with donations. Lorna Taylor wrote: "I have donated what I can. Just think if everyone in Northamptonshire did the same how much would be raised! Even if it’s 1p!

"My great-nan and grandad worked here serving ice cream. My two nans worked there too. So many memories."

Like Lorna, Jack Martins has close family connections to Wicksteed and said: "My grandad helped build the original swimming pools and the water splash.

"I hope it's saved."

You can donate to Wicksteed Park's fundraising page here.

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