While Buile Hill Park was officially opened in July 1903, it was officially inaugurated at its present size on January 18th 1938, with the addition of the Hart Hill estate and a new cafe-cum-banqueting suite.
The opening event included a High Tea for dignitaries, and the Salford City Reporter quoted a speech from John Thomas Harrison, who was Chairman of the Parks Committee, praising the new facilities for the working people of the city...
"It is the job of the Parks Committee and our superintendant to encourage people from the bottom end of Salford particularly to come out into the fresh air" he said "We have a park here which is one of the healthiest spots in the city. In my opinion, fresh air is God's greatest blessing."
"Seedley, Buile Hill and Hart Hill are looked upon as one park now and I feel before long we shall have one of the finest parks in the North of England here..." he added.
Buile Hill is still one of the busiest parks in Salford and, to celebrate its 80th, or oak, anniversary, the Friends of Buile Hill Park who do a great job keeping it 'fine', are holding a High Tea, and are looking for an 80 year old Salford person, preferably born in January 1938, to help plant a tree near the Mansion to mark the occasion.
They are also searching for any living relatives of John Thomas Harrison, who was Chairman of the Parks Committee before becoming Mayor of Salford during 1938-1939.*
Unfortunately the free High Tea event is sold out but guests have been asked to bring contributions for the Salford Food Bank, and any leftover food from the event will be distributed to local homeless people... "We are hoping that our launch event will have zero wastage and only a positive impact on our local community" says Elaine Hodson from Friends of Buile Hill Park.
If anyone knows of either an 80 year old who would like to plant the tree, or any relatives of JT Harrison please get in touch, either by emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Friends of Buile Hill Park Facebook group – click here
* John Thomas Harrison was born in Hulme in 1878, the son of a butcher. He married Bertha Henson, the daughter of a butcher, in Hulme in 1906. John had butchers shops on Tatton Street and Ellor Street in Salford. The couple had at least two children, a daughter Nancy born in 1910, and a son John Edward born in 1911.
J.T. Harrison held many public offices, becoming a Conservative councillor in 1922, and was Mayor of the Salford from 1938 to 1939. He also held positions in several local charities, had management roles in both Stowell Memorial Church and School, and was a prominent Freemason. J.T.Harrison died in 1947 at 7 West Clowes Street.