The 1980s and 1990s

The park continued to develop. The building of Tom Benson Way in the 1980s shaved land from the park, next to the avenue, but park user were compensated with the addition of more grassland to the north east of the park.

Sometime during this period word got around that in Victorian times rubbish, which had presumably been brought out of Preston by canal boat and dumped, was buried in the field below the canal where it approaches Ingol Ashes bridge. Much illicit digging took place; antique bottles and pieces of crockery were found in profusion. A large area of ground was turned over. The craze ceased as suddenly as it had begun.

On 8th and 9th August 1992 a 'Canal and Vintage Festival' was held, as a contribution to Preston Guild and also to mark the 200th anniversary of the passing of the Act of Parliament which authorised the construction of the Lancaster Canal. Boats were moored along the length of the canal bounding the park and the adjacent fields. A marquee was erected on the field nearest the park. Sadly the event was spoiled by torrential rain on Saturday 8th which caused many activities to be cancelled, and a loss of £7,687 was recorded. Documents relating to this event can be found in the Lancashire Recors Office [DDX/2527/acc/9890].

In 1998 permission was sought for construction of a waste water pumping station under part of Haslam Park, In 2003 further permission was given for construction of temporary access off Tom Benson Way, and of permanent access within the Park; for extension of the existing control building ; and reprofiling of land above the underground tank.

In 1999 the entrance gates were restored with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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