The Grounds - now re-born!
One of the joys of Milton Mount College at Worth Park was the extensive grounds. From the rear of the building we could see a circular pond, lovely if slightly unkempt gardens, and a lake in the distance. Initially there were two hard tennis courts (one also used for netball), five grass courts, a large games field suitable for 'proper' cricket, a meadow for practice games, and a woodland area complete with a maze.
This area was sold for housing during the 1950s, and after the school closed more land was built on, including the site of the ever popular swimming pool.
The school buildings were demolished and replaced by an ugly block of flats, but the gardens were kept as a public park. Vandalism proved a problem when repairs to the camellia walk funded by the council were wrecked. Shocked local residents formed a volunteer group, the Friends of Worth Park, and a croquet club was formed.
Independent studies a few years ago revealed that Worth Park gardens were of considerable historic importance, not least because of their use of the synthetic rock Pulhamite, and worthy of restoration. Thanks to superhuman efforts by volunteers, a successful application was made to the Heritage Lottery Fund, and restoration work is now complete. Because of the need for open public access, full restoration is not possible, but the stonework has been repaired, part of the Camellia Walk now has a roof, the round pond has been refurbished, and it is now possible to walk all round the lake. A room in Ridleys Court (the Quad) has been converted into a meeting room with modern facilities - the Montefiore room.
The official opening ceremony took place on 19th July 2015, and for the first time in living memory the fountain in the Round Pond was in operation.