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Locke Park Tower Reopens To Public

Monday September 16 2013

Locke Park Tower by Stuart Murphy Locke Park Tower by Stuart Murphy

THE tower at Locke Park has reopened to the public - more than 20 years after its closure.

The folly, built in memory of a railway pioneer's widow, was closed due to safety fears.

Having had an £80,000 restoration to fix its spiral staircase, the outside steps and the electrics, it's now back to its former glory.

It was built in 1877 as a memorial to engineer Joseph Locke's wife, Phoebe, who created the park in his memory.

Another £120,000 still needs to be raised to repair the ornate stonework.

Bob Britton, from the Friends of Locke Park group, said the tower was an 'icon' for the people of Barnsley.

"The experience of going up to the top of the tower has been lost for a generation," he added.

The mayor of Barnsley, Cllr Ken Richardson, reopened the tower on September 14 and said: "Many people have wanted to see the tower reopen for a number of years and I'm honoured to take part in this event.

"Locke Park is a beautiful place to visit and the fact that the much loved tower is now back in use just makes it an even better experience."

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Reply Posted by Jimbo on Monday September 16 2013 at 18:24
I can't wait to get up there again. Last time I went to the top I was a child. Must have been inn the 60's.

Reply Posted by Peter H on Tuesday September 17 2013 at 11:26
Cllr Ken Richardson only appears after the work is done, hats off to The Friends of Locke Park for their efforts

Reply Posted by King Eric on Tuesday September 17 2013 at 11:29
When is it open to the public?

Reply Posted by lol on Tuesday September 17 2013 at 18:03
What a waste of money

Reply Posted by AJ on Thursday September 26 2013 at 11:40
Are you serious! What about heritage? Or do you prefer it was all gone and new 'cardboard' buildings erected?

Reply Posted by Jan on Wednesday September 18 2013 at 17:14
For the past 10 years, I have told my children the story of a witch who was banished and locked in the tower for 100 years. It has fed their imagination for years, and now I will tell them how the witch's 100 years have passed and she has been freed! so we can now enter the tower and see where she has been kept captive!!
I also tell them that the empty stone mount ( in front of the house, Park road entrance) once housed a statue of a lion and when the witch was banished to the tower she cast a spell that made the stone lion come to life and ever since the lion has prowled the park at night!!
YES, my kids are traumatised lol

Reply Posted by Karen on Wednesday September 18 2013 at 17:18
Thats great , its once again restored , enjoy it

Reply Posted by d on Wednesday September 18 2013 at 18:48
i like it, ive never been up it but im sure i will the next time im at the park. its not a waste of money

Reply Posted by Amanda on Wednesday September 18 2013 at 21:21
@lol you are obviously one of the imbeciles that thinks we should never do anything to improve the town or put some culture back into it? Maybe you think we should have demolished the tower & replace it with a pub or a betting shop? It isn't a waste of money & it was raised by "the friends of Locke Park". Stop moaning & try to be happy that something is being improved

Reply Posted by AJ on Thursday September 26 2013 at 11:41
Good for you Amanda! I for one will be more than happy to pay to go up it, it's not a waste of money! It's a shame that our other beautiful buildings were not saved in this way.

Reply Posted by sarah on Thursday September 19 2013 at 12:37
i have no idea why but the tower has always scared me. Im glad it has re opened my kids can go visit but il be in the cafe with a cuppa waiting for them.

Reply Posted by Janine on Sunday September 22 2013 at 10:24
I went to lock park yesterday hoping to go up the tower with my children but we were disappointed to see it still locked up and no signs to say when it will be open. I understand that it cannot be open all the time due to the risk of vandalism and for safety but it would be nice to know when it will be open. I asked in the cafe but they did not know what was happening either. It would be a shame if it continues to spend most of the time being locked up after all the time and effort that has gone into restoring it. Please open the gates so it can enjoyed again!

Reply Posted by Lynn on Sunday September 22 2013 at 10:34
Nice to see something restored for Barnsley, maybe they could make a small charge (say £1) to climb it for a short while to help raise the remaining cash to finish the restoration? If people were advised that's what it was for they might not mind so much paying it?

Reply Posted by David Gibson on Friday September 27 2013 at 11:08
I am visiting Barnsley as I now live in Devon due to my Service with the Royal Navy. When I was growing up in Barnsley in the early 1960's I always wanted to climb up inside the Tower. I was amazed when I read on the teletext recently that the Tower is now open. I went for a run this morning to the Park only to find it closed with no information as to when it will be open to the public. I talked to one of the grounds men at the park, who was very pleasant but knew little of the opening of the tower. He thought that it is only open 12 times a year, that would be sad! Please let the public know when the tower will be open and any chance of a tour of the tower before I return to Devon on 30th Sep 13. The groundsman suggested contacting the Friends of Locke Park and mentioned David Allen, but alas, can not be found on the Internet.
Remember Barnsley is Beautiful, so lets get the Tower opened and fully restored. Even though I live in Devon I am keen to become a Friend of Locke Park.