History of Buffery Park
A Park Built for Working Class People
Buffery Park has a long history of serving the residents of Dudley. The park was created when the Grazebrook family donated the land, formerly used as the Old Buffery Colliery, for public use in 1892. Working class families living in the area were able to enjoy flower shows, band stand musical concerts, as well as other civic events, at the turn of the twentieth century.
Buffery Park enhanced the quality of life for working class people, and it was the perfect place to excercise and relax. The Buffery Park Garden was maintained by council staff, which boasted flowerbeds and shrubs. Buffery park’s crowning glory was the Glass Pavilion situated at the top of the park looking down at 4 tennis courts, cycle track, bowling green and a putting pitch. By the end of the twentieth century the Pavilion and greenhouses had fell into disrepair, before the land and many of the facilities had disappeared. There are still relics present from the past, if you walk around the park today, such as the circle where the old Bandstand used to be situated all those years ago.
The land was given a new lease of life when a Sure Start Children’s Centre was built in 2004.
The Sons of Rest
The Sons of Rest building was opened in 1950, replacing the Old Park Lodge which was rebuilt at the top entrance of the park, in Blackacre Road. The original Sons Of Rest was a wooden shed, situated directly opposite the tennis courts. The original shed was removed from the park in the 1970’s.
The Sons of Rest was building used by members of the bowling club and a male fraternity. The building was relaunched in 1969 as a community building, and exists today under a new name “The Buffery Paradise Centre”, which has recently been transformed by the Friends of Buffery Park charity and turned into a community hub.
Looking Back to Move Forward
Buffery Park is lucky to have been the stage for many sights, such as the glorious Glass Pavilion and an elephant on the park when the Circus visited in the 1970’s. In 1977 a party was held on the park for the Silver Jubilee. Many of the group’s members were there! Local comedian Lenny Henry still talks about his childhood growing up on Buffery Park and met with the group to give his support in 2015.