IS this how you remember Whitehead Park on Ainsworth Road in Bury?

These images, which are not dated, are included this week because the park holds many memories for a reader who wants to be known as Lancashire Lass.

She said a recent photo of children dancing around a maypole in the 1940s triggered a memory of World War Two.

"When the sirens went, during the day, the young children were led out of their classroom to underground shelters in Whitehead Park.

"I don't know how deep the shelter was dug, or if they are still there, but the smell of long creosoted timber benches, children sitting waiting for the 'all clear' still lingers," said Lancashire lass.

The first time the air raid warning sounded in Bury was in June 1940, in response to an air raid on Accrington. Apparently, six bombs fell and killed three people in Accrington.

In fact, Bury suffered relatively little in World War Two, until Christmas 1944, when a V1 flying bomb, or doodlebug, struck in Tottington and sadly killed seven people.

As for the shelters in Whitehead Park, little information or photographs seem to have survived.

The park itself has a well-documented history, however. It dates back to 1883, was established with support from Lord Derby and Sir Henry Whitehead and opened by HRH Prince Albert Victor in 1888.

Originally, the park was aimed at those living in Elton known as Elton Recreation Ground, but its name was later changed in honour of Sir Henry Whitehead.

King George V playing fields, measuring 7.8 hectares, are also part of the park.

There was originally a bandstand, which seems visible on one of the photographs here, but what was left of it later became a landscape feature.

- Images courtesy of Bury Image Bank,

- Do you have memories of air raid shelters in Bury, or of Whitehead Park? If so, please contact Irma Heger,, Wellsprings Civic Centre, Bolton BL1 1AR.