Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Tickle-Belly Park

Burleigh Brook Park, aka Tickle-Belly Park!

Burleigh Brook Park, known to the locals as Tickle Belly-Park, was a park of about 15,149 square yards (about 12.5 square metres), situated on the land which is now Cotswold Close, opposite the university athletics stadium, on the Ashby Road (the A512). It was owned by Mr George Adcock, an organist at the Loughborough Baptist Chapel and was the proprietor of The Loughborough Pianoforte, American Organ and General Music Warehouse on Baxter Gate, and who at one time lived at 1 Storer Road. During 1892-1893 Mr Adcock held the office of Mayor of the Borough of Loughborough, only the fourth incumbent since the incorporation of the borough in 1888.

Mr Adcock did not like the park to be called Tickle-Belly Park as he wished to maintain a high moral tone. The park – Burleigh Brook, or Tickle-Belly, whichever takes your fancy - was advertised by Mr Adcock as a place for Sunday Schools to hold their outings, or treats, which seemed to include a first-class tea, equipment for various games (including cricket, football, bowls, skittles and lawn tennis) and various other fun things like swan boat rides on the lake, tobogganing, swings and swing boats.

In 1905 the cost for the public to enter the park was 1d, and a ride on the swan boat cost 1/2d. In 1911 Mr Adcock was concerned that the Sunday School should all hold their treats as normal in June, despite the celebrations that were planned for the coronation of George V. 

In 1923 Mr Adcock, who was then living at 14 Royland Road (the house on the corner of Royland Road and Bampton Street), died leaving £103 3s to his wife, Sarah, and in 1924 the park was put up for sale.

There is little information about Burleigh Brook Park to be found on the internet, but there is a picture here, where there is also a picture of Mr Adcock’s music shop.

Further information and pictures can be found in:
  • Kempster, Graham (2004) Loughborough and Shepshed. Loughborough: Loughborough Echo.
  • Leicestershire County Council (1999) Images of Loughborough. Derby: Breedon Books.
  • Wix, Donald H.C. et al. (1975) Bygone Loughborough in photographs, vol.2. [S.l.]: Leicestershire Libraries and Information Services.

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