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I did know his son Ernest Charlesworth, our local joiner. Ernest's widow, Trudi, has kindly lent me these photographs. Herbert's father George F. G. Charlesworth, landlord of the Ship Inn at Horbury Bridge, came up with with this amazing proposal for a Victorian style theme park in nearby Coxley Valley;
The speculative venture soon ran into problems. The big dipper, merry-go-round and dance hall were never built. I remember a tall brick house which was the right-hand wing of the pavilion, the only part of it that was ever finished. For a while there was a café here, which looked out over rose gardens and childrens' swings. On Sunday evenings a brass band played.
So what is left of it today? Since I'm writing a book on the valley, due out in May, I take a walk through the woods and find the spot where the promotional lithograph shows a pleasure steamer, children riding donkeys and a rickshaw racing past.
I stand with a steep wooded slope behind me, overlooking a meander of the stream. The phrases of a Song Thrush ring through the empty woods. At the top of the grassy field opposite, beyond some pheasant pens, the partially completed pavilion has gone, now replaced by a stone-built house.
Two world wars and the depression of the 1920s and 30s separate us from the George Charlesworth's vision of a Victorian pleasure garden. It reminds me of a passage from The Tempest;
'Our revels now are ended. . .