This week 60 years ago: Grand opening of Haggerston’s Stonebridge Gardens under a rainy December sky

The Gazette 60 years ago

The Gazette 60 years ago - Credit: Archant

Stonebridge Gardens - now known locally in Haggerston as the “snake park” - was officially opened by the London County Council this week 60 years ago.

The Gazette reported that although the brief opening was conducted under a rainy December sky, it was hoped by speakers that many hundreds of east Londoners would enjoy lots of sunny days and make full use of the park and its amenities. It was noted that it “would not be the LCC’s fault” if full use was not made of Shoreditch’s open spaces.

Since the end of the war nearly six acres of Haggerston Park had already been completed - apparently a “far cry” from when Shoreditch only had a fifth of an acre open space for every 1,000 people - the lowest proportion for any London borough at the time. The first section of Stonebridge Gardens covered one and a quarter acres, between Arbutus Street and Lee Street to the east of Kingsland Road.

The Gazette described how the garden which was “neatly set out” with flowering shrubs and borders “relieved the monotony of housing estates” with over 30 newly planted trees and seats placed between rose beds.

The park next to Haggerston Overground station is now known for the large blue mosaic snake in the children’s play area.