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Friday 30th July 2021  

Plans for a pleasure park - 1948

Loughborough Echo - 30th April 1948

Quorn Man’s Venture
12 ½ Acre Pleasure Park for Barrow
Riverside Rendezvous

“What shall we do?……..Where shall we go?” How often have these questions been asked by a harassed father or mother faced with the problem of entertaining several boisterous children at holiday time on a purse which simply refuses to stretch?

Now, so far as the Loughborough district is concerned, the problem has been solved, and, with the backing of the Town and Country Planning Authority, a pleasure park embracing 12 ½ acres of land on the River Soar at Barrow, is to be developed.

The man behind the venture is Mr Jack Proctor, well known as an amusement caterer and fairground proprietor. At their meeting on Tuesday the Barrow Rural District Council, subject to the observance of certain conditions, approved his scheme.

The land to be developed stretches for several hundred yards along the south bank of the river east of the road, and was acquired by Mr Proctor from Mr Rex Bloore, the local boat-builder. Mr Bloore is remaining to act as manager.

An Echo reporter called on Mr Proctor at his Quorn depot to learn something of the project. In the yard was a bright green engine of “Lilliputian” dimensions, eventually destined for a miniature railway track at Barrow.

Mr Proctor stated he had not the slightest intention of erecting big amusements. “People know I have amusements and they immediately think I shall turn it into a fairground, but that is not so,” he said, adding that he intended to provide pleasure for the working man and his family. “Pleasure unlimited” is Jack Proctor’s motto and this season he aims to give enjoyment to thousands of children. It is intended to provide a children’s sandpit and paddling pool, last year’s fleet of new rowing boats has been increased and outboard motors acquired.

It is hoped by Whitsun to provide nearly three-quarters of a mile of thrills along the river bank and through the spinney for about 60 kiddies on each trip on the miniature railway.

“Water is laid on and we are inviting families to come and enjoy themselves in the park, where they can picnic and enjoy the beauties of what I think is the prettiest spot of the Soar,” Mr Proctor said.

“I don’t want the family man to think he must spend a lot of money; the paddling pool and the sandpit will be free, although a small charge will naturally be made for the miniature railway.”

For sixpence children will be taken by an experienced boatman a considerable distance along the river in a perfectly safe converted lifeboat. Rowing boats have been made by Mr Bloore and a slipway laid for launching the several cabin cruisers, now moored to the bank.

Horses and ponies have been acquired and it is hoped to open riding stables. It is also hoped to provide a car park.

Although the present development of the site is somewhat restricted, gardens are to be laid out and at some future date it is hoped to add tennis courts and putting greens.

 Submitted on: 2010-12-08
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 1021

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