Press Release |

Wicksteed Park announces community partnership with Isebrook SEN College

Ambitious Wicksteed Park and Isebrook SEN Cognition & Learning College have agreed a ground-breaking partnership which will promote inclusion for some of the most vulnerable people in our community. It will also enhance the professional development of staff as well as raising awareness of diversity, inclusion and disability confidence. The exciting new project will provide opportunities for young people from the college, on Eastleigh Road, Kettering, to gain experience of the world of work through work experience and a new supported internship programme. Park staff will also be offered the chance to learn more about the challenges faced by students and adults with multiple and complex needs. Wicksteed Park, Kettering, has been entertaining families for nearly 100 years and is currently undergoing a £4.5m rejuvenation project to renovate its historic heart and bring its heritage alive to all visitors. With its 147 acres of wonderful countryside, rides and attractions it is a unique venue and the perfect place for young people to learn about the world of work. Tracey Clarke, Wicksteed Park Community Link Manager, said: “Isebrook caters for students from 11-18 years old with a range of complex educational needs and this is a very exciting partnership for us, showing that we are really committed to our community programme. “A lot of companies talk about community engagement, but this is something that is really happening and we are incredibly proud of this partnership and what we hope to achieve.” Gareth Ivett, Assistant Headteacher at Isebrook SEN College, commented: “This is a really exciting partnership that will be beneficial for both organisations. As a college we are committed to enhancing...

Wicksteed Park announces three super daytime shows for 2018

Wicksteed Park is excited to announce a fantastic line up of daytime shows for 2018. Twist and Shout, Sing As We Go and the Christmas Variety Spectacular will set the park’s Edwardian pavilion rocking and the family-friendly fun and entertainment will be delivered by nationally-acclaimed Songbook Productions. It brings together the UK’s leading performers, choreographers, costume designers and creative professionals to produce superb shows. Under the direction of renowned director David Kettle, the shows will provide West End quality entertainment in the heart of the park’s 147 acres of marvelous countryside. The pavilion’s new chef will ensure that daytime show guests will enjoy a scrummy feast as well as a welcome drink and a tasty pastry on arrival. Twist and Shout is a nostalgic and fun-packed musical journey through the sounds of the 60s. It is a non-stop musical extravaganza featuring more than 40 songs, a live band and a cast of six singers and dancers performing hits like She Loves You and Glad All Over and I’m Into Something Good. The show will be performed on September 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27. Sing As We Go celebrates the centenary of the end of World War One. This warm-hearted and fun show tells the story of troops who are determined to entertain their colleagues in the face of adversity. Soldiers caught in the trenches keep their spirits high by listening to the radio girls back home, who brighten up their days by singing songs over the airwaves. The boys at war start writing letters to the radio show, which are read out on...

120 jobs up for grabs at Recruitment Drive

One hundred and twenty full and part time jobs have been announced at Wicksteed Park as it gears up for one of the most exciting periods in its history. The home of children’s play in Kettering is holding recruitment days in the park’s Pavilion on Wednesday February 28 (4pm to 7pm) and Saturday March 3 (10am to 4pm). Jobs are available across all parts of the park, including catering, rides, attractions and customer service and all recruits will be given full training before the park officially opens fully for the season on Thursday March 29. The Kettering park was founded in 1921 by Charles Wicksteed as part of his vision to inspire and encourage play as part of families’ health and well-being and has just begun one of its most thrilling chapters. Work has begun on a £4.5million plan to bring the history and heritage of the park alive to all visitors. The Historic Heart project will restore the central Piazza and Precinct which will provide an improved welcome to the park. It will be surrounded by restored original bungalows which will be used for information centres, the manufacture and sale of Wicksteed Ice Cream and community activities. Historic views will be restored and work has also already begun on creating a Heritage Play Area, featuring original or replica Wicksteed play equipment. There are also lots of new attractions for visitors to enjoy at the park this year, such as Sycamore Circle, which provides a wonderful blend of nature and fun. Children can also clamber over the branches of Spider Oaks or brave the Tree Top Walk, a 90-metre...

Work starts on £4.5M Historic Heart Project to rejuvenate Wicksteed Park

Exciting work has begun on a £4.5million plan to bring the history and heritage of Wicksteed Park – the home of children’s play – alive to all visitors. The ambitious Historic Heart project, which started this week, will renovate the original heart of the park as the centrepiece and social hub of its restoration, environmental, community and educational agenda. It is part of a wider @Play project which will showcase the park’s heritage, and enhance the enjoyment of play in line with the original vision of its founder, Charles Wicksteed. The restorations are being funded by a grant of £1.89 million from the Heritage Lottery, with the majority of the remaining investment coming from the Wicksteed Charitable Trust itself, supported by smaller donations from Northamptonshire County Council and Kettering Borough Council. 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 park will now reach its full potential as a heritage and learning resource for the local community and the large number of visitors who use the park and it will now be restored to its former glory. The Historic Heart project will restore the central Piazza and Precinct which will provide an improved welcome to the park. It will be surrounded by restored original bungalows (which utilised a revolutionary form of prefabrication) which will be used for information centres, the manufacture and sale of Wicksteed Ice...

Fifth Annual World Puddle Jumping Championships set to make a splash

Competitors are set to make the biggest splashes on record after the wet summer created the perfect conditions for the fifth annual World Puddle Jumping Championships at Wicksteed Park. This year organisers have even prepared last minute plans to ensure the event isn’t rained off if there are heavy downpours on the already saturated ground. A special series of championship-standard puddles are being created at the park and competitors of all ages will be encouraged to jump in and make a splash, with the competition starting at 11am on Wednesday October 25. Judges will give scores based on things such as height of jump, enthusiasm, distance of splash and stickability (the amount of mud which clings to each competitor). But the majority of marks will be given for the size of a competitor’s splash! The previous biggest splashes were recorded last year, when several competitors managed to reach a distance of more than 12ft but 2017 saw the 11th wettest summer on record, so organisers are hoping for a new world record this year. Event organiser Linda Cottington said: “The last thing we want is for the puddle jumping championships to be called off due to wet weather so we have put special plans in place to try and ensure the puddles are safe to jump in, not too slippery and not too deep. “One thing is for sure though, with all the rain we have had this year, we should be in for some record-breaking splashes ad spectators will have to stand further back than normal to avoid getting soaked! “We are advising competitors to bring a change of clothing as it may...

Bonfire night extravaganza

BONFIRE NIGHT EXTRAVAGANZA AT WICKSTEED PARK The annual Wicksteed Park fireworks extravaganza is returning for a 16th fantastic year, providing a magical event for all the family. Award-winning fireworks champions MLE pyrotechnics, from Daventry, are lighting up the sky above the park on Saturday November 4. Once more, the central feature of the event will be a giant wicker statue, which will come alive with fireworks before being burnt ahead of the main bonfire being lit. This year the statue is based on Herne the Hunter, the horned god and lord of the forest in British mythology. This year’s event is being partnered by Heart and they will be represented by drivetime presenter Gareth Wesley on the night. Musicians from Tresham College will entertain the crowds and music will be supplied by Big Bopper Entertainment. A disco for families is included in the admission price and will be held in the Pavilion straight after the fireworks, until around 10.30pm. Tickets are £5.00 on the night but only £4.50 in advance. All proceeds are re-invested into the park The park is also holding free lantern making workshops for the community during October half term and the lanterns will be used as part of a parade before the bonfire is lit on November 4. The workshops will be held on Monday October 23, Wednesday October 25, Friday October 27 and Saturday October 28 from  noon to 4pm in the park’s heritage space and are suitable for the over eights Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times and the workshops are free but booking is recommended as spaces are limited....