Digital photography was unfortunately not readily affordable when witnessing demolition of the Portland Arms in year 2000. Stills of that scene are nonetheless shared from an amateur video captured by relative Brian Hayes. This residential development also exposes low resolution introducing a basic camera, a 4th now outperformed by smart phones. But my original snaps can finally document these 12 year old changes.
A three years transformation represents minimum span between a juxtaposed changeover. The old public house historically emerged under sign of The Gate two centuries ago. Shipstones Brewery extended the property around a century later, including additional rear land off Skegby Road. Facing that addressed road are some of these newer houses, including last 2003 property that replaced top corner onto Sutton Road.
Skegby Road offered rear access to the pubs later car park. An orchard below offered a play camp site for some tenants children like Mark and Robert Fittall, plus stay overs lastly by Country and Western patrons. A significantly sized plot of land emerged when totally cleared. This would incorporate a small but private cul-de-sac. First signs of dwellings to be built however, are these facing older road on lower ground section.
Looking down onto the site in 2002 shows the early advancement of those initial houses between February and March. The old CWS factory stands in background, until blocked by workmans cabins filling top corner.
First stage completes terraces, adding a sales office fronting other corner entrance into a future roadway.
Grounds are soon flattened for accessing next stage, laying foundations to begin building a lower north side. Naming initially suggested reference to the historic Portland. But choice of Park is like the Parkside address opposite, recognising where far end of Skegby Road since leads visitors into Brierley Forest Park.
The first homes which would actually line a new Park Grounds road address quickly appear from May 2002.
Third phase follows the south side. They fully shape a tidier Park Grounds building site through September.
Things get quite a bit clearer in more ways than one from October, covering final stages onward into 2003.
Construction was completed about April 2003, when unveiling a single detached home prominently stood cornering junction top of Skegby Road. All properties quickly found buyers, plus resale of established plots.
The actual estate newly signposted as Park Gardens, was eagerly occupied before smoothly surfacing its road and pavements. Clearing away all trace of building materials, plus adding finishing boundary touches did take a few more months while still internally fitting out the last home above. Prices for one of those semi detached 3 bedroom freehold houses back in June 2002 initially started from around £70,000, and rising.
Written 21 Feb 14 Revised 21 Feb 14 © by Gary Elliott