Ilkeston - Memories of the Rec.
w/e 24 March 2024
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Nikon D3300

Rutland Recreation Ground was renamed Rutland Sports Park following the redevelopment about twenty years ago. For those of us who grew up in the second half of the last century it will always just be the Rec. As we walked around the Rec all those old memories of its former glory came flooding back.

Play Area

It's not so long ago that there was a paddling pool in the children's play area but that was removed following Health and Safety concerns.
Tennis Courts

Nearby are a series of tennis courts. The sign says "Stanton Tennis Club" but at one time of day you could pay by the hour to play on them by purchasing a ticket from the kiosk adjacent to the cricket scoreboard.
New Pavilion

Sadly both the scoreboard and the kiosk were demolished but they stood at the bottom of the bank just beyond the path and trees in the foreground of this view. The new pavilion was built on the bank between the upper and lower parts of the Rec.
Mini Golf

Tickets could also be bought for the Putting Green (top) and the six hole Pitch and Put course (bottom) but both of these facilities have now been lost.
Lower Rec

The Pitch and Put course sloped down to the lower Rec where there were some cricket nets and football pitches and anyone could turn up to kick a ball about on the open green space. Now it is all fenced off and access to the all weather pitches is through the new pavilion and gym - all at a cost of course.
Cricket Pitch

A cricket pitch still exists on the upper Rec but it's a long time since County Championship matches between Derbyshire and visiting Counties were staged here in front of thousands of spectators. Amateur teams still use the pitch but I doubt very much whether it is of sufficient quality these days for professional players.
Old Pavilion

The old pavilion of 1925 is still in use and provides a useful storage facility for maintenance equipment too. Its appearance though was not improved however, with the removal of the terracing and steps at the front during the redevelopment work.
Fence & Gates

There were more tennis courts at the top of the Rec where I spent many happy hours with friends in the 1960s after we relaxed at the end of term whilst awaiting exam results. Whatever it is used for now is behind high fences and locked gates.
Bowling Green

The same is true of the Bowling Green but again, with school friends, tickets were bought from the kiosk and bowls hired for a friendly game after school.

Before we left the Rec there was time for a last look back along the concrete terracing towards the sports hall. The terracing once ran all the way along this side of the Rec and seating was provided by wooden benches. The seats would be filled for those County Cricket matches and also by proud parents every year when school sports days were held or when uniformed groups like the Scouts and Guides held competitions. The trees, flowers and also the plants in the boggy area at the foot of the bank are fairly recent additions but I'm not sure the redevelopment of the Rec was an unmitigated success. Or am I just looking at things with nostalgic rose-tinted spectacles?

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