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The Model Yacht That Sank

Photograph of oil on linen painted,  81  x   112 cm, provided by Mr John Walker

We are indebted to Mr John Walker for sending us a copy of a painting he has of Sidney Park pond.  He recalls that in the 1950’s he spent many happy hours sailing a model boat there, sometimes with rather disastrous results resulting in him having to wade in to collect the vessel.

He points out that model boats are still sailed on the pond and there is a local organisation called the Grimsby and Cleethorpes Model Boat Club which still fosters the hobby today.

To the left of the painting, it is perhaps interesting to note that the tennis courts that Mr Walker played in as a child were originally grass courts and added to Sidney Park in 1923 and at that time, could be hired for one shilling an hour.

On Saturday 20th May 1933, beautiful summer like weather prevailed for the opening ceremony of a new pavilion and hard tennis courts in the park. The £600 brick pillared stuccoed structure was 64 feet long by 30 feet wide, with verandas all round which provided ample accommodation for shelter. Designed by Mr Leonardo W, Pye, surveyor of Cleethorpes Council, there was also an enclosed shelter 15 feet by 12 feet for the use of tennis players. A ticket attendant’s office and a clock on the tennis courts on the west side, which was given by the contractors, Mr C. Simons and Mr H. Pinion, were also installed.

The newly laid three hard tennis courts replaced the three old grass tennis courts at a cost of £230. They were full championship sized, absolutely level and described as ‘Griselda’ courts, the surface being specially graded Malvern granite.