Press Release | - Part 2

First ever playground slide re-created

A re-creation of the first ever playground slide has been unveiled, at the park where modern children’s play equipment was invented. Charles Wicksteed created swings and slides as part of his vision to inspire and encourage play as part of families’ health and well-being. The first ever slide was installed at Wicksteed Park, Kettering, after he opened it to the public in 1921 and was an instant hit with local children, leading to be park becoming known as the home of children’s play. Now the iconic playground favourite, complete with wooden steps and sturdy timber planks bolted together to make a 30ft long slide, has been re-created as part of the park’s project to bring the history of children’s play to life. It is based on original drawings of the first slide so modern day children can experience the same thrills that their counterparts did back in the 1920s – and it has already proved a hit ahead of its official opening next month. Charles Wicksteed, who made his fortune in engineering, opened Wicksteed Park to encourage young people and families to enjoy unrestricted outdoor play. Before then, public parks were typically very formal places, where children were warned to keep off the grass. The joy the children got from his primitive swings and slides pushed him on to create more and more play equipment, which became so popular that it was exported around the world. In his 1928 book, A Plea for Children’s Recreation after School Hours and after School Age, Charles proclaimed: “I have good reason to believe that the park I have formed has changed the lives...

Wicksteed Park Launches Sway Rider

Wicksteed Park, near Kettering, combines 147 acres of beautiful parkland with attractions such as rollercoasters and rides to ensure a great time for the whole family, no matter what their budget. The park has a host of new attractions for 2017, including the fantastic new Sway Rider wave swing. The park’s attractions include the RUSH zipwire and activity tower which includes one of the longest and fastest zipwires in the UK and an Air Bag Jump. Visitors can also get close to the animals and explore the rope courses and overground tunnels of the Sycamore Circle. The park has also just launched its Tree Top Walk, a 90-metre walkway of activities and obstacles suitable for adults and children alike. Also new is Meerkat Burrows, an underground tunnelling experience with pop up viewing areas to allow you to see the park’s meerkats up close. People can also enjoy the new Snakes & Ladders dropslide as well as the farmyard experience for younger children. It has top quality camping facilities overlooking the lake, with facilities including a refurbished toilet and shower block, catering and the new Ideas cafe. Wristbands are the best and best value way to enjoy the park’s attractions so remember to book online to save money on the price. Stay at the park and save £4 per child and £1 per adult on wristbands for your second...

Explore Charles Wicksteed’s Legacy of Innovation During British Science Week

People are being invited to learn more about Charles Wicksteed’s legacy of innovation at two free events being held at Wicksteed Park during British Science Week. The two Science Cafes will take place in the park’s Heritage Space and will introduce people to science in an informal way over coffee and cake. People will be able to explore engineering and ecology and explore the extraordinary legacy of Charles Wicksteed, focusing on his life as an entrepreneur, inventor, innovator and successful engineer. In 1928, when the park he created was still in its infancy, Charles Wicksteed said: “We live in wonderful days of almost embarrassing advance in science and industry.” The science cafes are the only free community access British Science Week events in Northamptonshire. f On Tuesday March 14, from 10:45am to noon, computing, robotics and artificial intelligence expert Dr Scott Turner, Associate Professor (Computing & Immersive Technologies) based at University of Northampton will lead a talk about Junkbots, a project that combined environmental sustainability, engineering and computing alongside a current research “Visualising the Field”. On Thursday March 16, from 10:45am to noon Paul Wyer of the Wildlife Trust will speak about the wildlife on your doorstep, in your gardens or around the park’s lake. Find out more about their habitats and impacts on the natural environment and what you can do to maintain and increase local wildlife. Paul has a specialist interest in hedgehogs and will bring along a range of information for people to view. Tracey Clarke, Wicksteed Park’s Community Link Manager, said: “British Science Week is a great way for people to find out more about...

150 Jobs Up For Grabs At Wicksteed Park Recruitment Drive

One hundred and fifty full and part time jobs have been announced at Wicksteed Park as it gears up for the start of its summer 2017 season. The home of children’s play in Kettering is holding recruitment days on Wednesday March 1 (4pm to 7pm) and Saturday March 4 (10am to 4pm) in the park’s Pavilion. Following the selection process for jobs across all parts of the park, including catering, rides, attractions and customer service, all recruits will be given full training before the park’s officially opens fully for season on Saturday April 1. Many of those who fill the temporary jobs each year are students and some will do three or four years in a row or stay and become full members of staff. In fact, some of the most senior employees at the park began their careers in part-time or seasonal roles. The park also encourages older, more experienced applicants. Wicksteed Park was created by founder Charles Wicksteed as part of his vision to inspire and encourage play and outdoor exercise as part of families’ health and well-being. It has a host of new attractions for 2017, including the fantastic new Sway Rider wave swing. Visitors can also get close to the animals and explore the rope courses and overground tunnels of the Sycamore Circle. The park’s attractions include the RUSH zipwire and activity tower which includes one of the longest and fastest zipwires in the UK and an Air Bag Jump. The park has also just launched its Tree Top Walk, a 90-metre walkway of activities and obstacles suitable for adults and children alike. Also new is...

Wicksteed Park Lights Up The Dark Nights With Amazing Lantern Attraction

Wicksteed Park has launched an amazing giant lantern experience for families to enjoy in the run up to Christmas. Enchanted Tales and Illuminations, launched on Friday (December 9) features an array of authentic hand-made Chinese silk lanterns which light up the park’s gardens and fairground and is suitable for people of all ages. The spectacular night-time event, which features actors and staff in storybook costumes, also allows visitors to enjoy highly popular rides and attractions such as the Tree Top Walk, Carousel and Astroslide for up to four hours. The park is different from other commercial attractions in that it is owned and run by a charity and all money raised by the event will be used to invest further in the park. To set the scene for the evening, visitors will listen to storytellers’ amusing tales of how stories have escaped into Wicksteed’s StoryLand. They will then explore the park, which has been transformed into a sea of more than 60 brightly-coloured and larger than life animals and flowers, with designs including pandas, giraffes and zebras. Trees have also been lit up displaying an array of colours and effects to help create the special mood. The attraction builds on the recent trend towards winter light and lantern shows, with events in London, Leeds and at Longleat safari park. Wicksteed Park Managing Director Alasdair McNee said Enchanted Tales and Illuminations offered something spectacular to see at night something different for families to enjoy. He said: “We are finding that many people want something new and unusual to do as we approach Christmas and the tradition of winter lights is a...

Wicksteed Park Re-launches Weddings Offering After Two Key Appointments

Wicksteed Park, Kettering, has relaunched its weddings offering with two new senior members of staff and a new brochure to highlight what it has to offer. With its recently refurbished, elegant Edwardian Pavilion and stunning grounds, it is little wonder Wicksteed Park is one of Northamptonshire’s favourite wedding venues. It is also one of the biggest in the region, and has catered for many large traditional weddings as well as cultural and ethnic ceremonies. It has now announced the appointment of Sarah Johnston as Pavilion Business Development Manager, with Colin Brinkworth also joining the team, as Pavilion Operations Manager. The team has now launched its new Your Wedding, Your Way package, offering people the chance to create their own bespoke traditional wedding with the help of the park’s expert staff. Sarah joins Wicksteed Park from Hallmark Hotels, where she was Regional Sales Manager for the North East, overseeing a portfolio of 28 hotels. She previously worked as Sales Manager for Quality Hotel Leeds Selby Fork. Colin joins from Wyboston Lakes Hotel and Conference Centre, in Bedfordshire , where he was Function Manager. He previously spent eight years as Assistant Conference & Banqueting Manager at Trearddur Bay Hotel, Anglesey. Sarah said: “Wicksteed Park is a wonderful place for a wedding and we are aiming to build on and enhance its excellent reputation as a venue, which has been built up over many years. “We like to make each wedding bespoke and focus on the little things that will make the day a memorable occasion. “Whether you are planning a civil ceremony, a reception or both, you’ll find the perfect surroundings...