In January 1912, Miss Haslam presented to the Corporation a scheme prepared by the landscape gardener Thomas Mawson 'for the further laying out of the park', together with £4,000 towards the cost, with a promise of a further £800 for payment to Mr Mawson for carrying out the work. The Preston Guardian 23rd March 1912 welcomed this new gift and noted that Mr Mawson had prepared a report and 'coloured plan' (reproduced in the newspaper in black and white) which 'has just been issued to the Mayor and Corporation'. It notes that of the original gift of £6,000, £1,200 remained unspent. Mawson estimated the cost of executing his plan as £10,647.
A copy or the report complete with 'coloured plan' is held in the Lancashire Record Office: Report and estimates of cost for Haslam Park. [CBP/80/22]. The plan can be found on flickr.
Later in 1912, reporting on a meeting of the Corporation's Health Committee on 25th July, the Preston Guardian of 27th July carried a story headed 'Haslam Park scheme to be again revised', and reviewed the history of the development to date. Now, if not earlier, Miss Haslam's gifts were not given an unqualified welcome by all members of the Corporation because, in accepting them, the Corporation would be committing itself to adding to the funds provided by Miss Haslam, and to the cost of maintaining an additional park. Various suggestions (notably a smaller lake) were made for modifying the plans to reduce costs. In proposing acceptance of the plans, Alderman Woods, Chair or the Parks & Baths Committee, asked the Corporation to commit £8,000 of Corporation funding to the project. However, Dr Riggs opposed the proposal, 'arguing that it showed a want of appreciation of the needs of the town and what was required in the district. Haslam Park, with the west winds sweeping across it, was the most bracing playground Preston possessed, and to cover it with shrubbery and add a lake to it was, to his mind, doing harm to the park'. There were several objections both to a proposed bandstand and to a pavilion. Following discussion, Alderman Woods 'formally withdrew the scheme for the present'.
Later in the year the proposals were raised again in the Parks & Baths Committee, with revised estimates. It was reported that Miss Haslam was offering £3,000 towards the cost of work, and a further £1,000 if a lake was included. This was recommended to the Corporation. At the Corporation meeting on 28th September some dissent was again expressed, as also was indignation that Miss Haslam's generosity might not be accepted, and a motion in favour of adopting the proposals was carried with applause.
In 1915 Thomas Mawson presented a further report: Haslam Park, Preston: a brief review of work accomplished and of possibilities for future development. May 1915. [CBP 79/44]. Looking back to 1912, Mawson wrote 'When first I was called in to advise... I found a certain amount of work had already been done and it was neccessary to incorporate the whole of this work within my scheme...' The 'straight drive through the Park, parallel to the railway, had already been constructed and this called for the planting of a double avenue which now lines it. It appears that the 1915 plan was necessary because the Corporation had been unable to furnish sufficient funding to execute the amended original plan to Mawson's satisfaction.
Originally published by FoHP with PCC Parks Section. Researched and written by Philip Pacey. With thanks to Preston Museum & Art Gallery and Lancashire Records Office