My Hidden Gem

Debbie Cameron’s Memories of Fog Lane Park

When I first moved to Norwood Avenue in 1987, I had no idea that I would be living there for the next 30 years; a newcomer to the North West I assumed I would be moving on. I kind of got that a bit wrong!

On exploring on that first day I turned left out of Elmsmere Road and immediately saw the park.

Little did I know that I would be frequenting that park on literally 1000s of occasions. I walked, cycled, had lunch there and ran in it. I walked through on my way to work at the Christie.

It isn’t mentioned in the same breath as its famous, bigger counterparts in Manchester but it was my favourite place in the whole of Manchester – quite a feat with all the wonderful things in my adopted City. It is small but perfect. Trees, flowers, birds (I have seen kingfishers, herons, rare ducks, treecreepers, nuthatches).

But it was so much more than a park. It has lifted my spirits, soothed me through bad times, helped me clear my head, given me great joy to follow the changing seasons – always, always something new or uplifting. Yes, it has had social problems but these only caused fleeting feelings of anger. The Park- massively- helped urban living be a joy. Back to nature in miniature. Peace. Sometimes even sun (well, not often but maybe that made it even more joyful!) I’ve now moved to Formby but there is nothing here that remotely means as much to me as the Park did (yes, even the famed dunes and pinewoods – too busy.) My hidden gem that never, ever disappointed or failed to make me feel so much better once I walked back down Norwood Avenue, ready to face the world again.

Good things really do come in small packages. I will remember it, always.

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