Butterfield Gardens – the Choice of the Name
The boys did not know that someone in County Hall had set aside this area as a long-distant park, protecting it from the encroachment of houses, stored like wine to mature as more an more people suggested new, unexpected and creative ways of using this apparent wasteland. It would be there as a developing asset, growing year by year, into the distant future. Slowly it has developed.
Swings and a slide on Wordsworth Road; the houses on ones side of Cowper Road demolished and the ground added to the Park; the other side demolished and rebuilt as three-storey red brick houses set in a secluded country corner; a village green at the top of the hill; a belt of trees below and a long, shaded stream bordered with huge smooth rocks for climbing and scrambling; an Adventure Playground surrounded by rugged, child proof tree trunks and then a peaceful little park and more play equipment and, to cap it all, a bark path through a restored orchard which will bring back the old village adventure of scrumping apples to a world which thinks fruit arrives in plastic bags from the planet Zog. A peaceful saunter; a village festival with a dog show, tug of war, food of all varieties and unoffending fathers being pelted with wet sponges. Silent play, dog walks, festivals, all tastes are covered and the dreams of some unknown man at County Hall have been granted.
Choosing the Name
Butterfield was the great decorative architect who built St Matthias Church in the eighteen-forties. What a suitable choice of Architect. No other Victorian architect would have done so well. Blomfield might just have done. Street Park? Surely not. Cockerell might perhaps have served, but not Barry, Pennethorne, Hardwick, Scott, Waterhouse. All great architects, yet all their names completely unsuitable for this purpose. None except Butterfield has a proper country-village sound. He once described how he came down with a party through the fields from Church Street, to view the proposed site of his new Church. They walked through cow pastures, climbed stiles and avoided cow pats all the way to Matthias Road. For centuries butter had been made of milk from these fields and when Cut Throat Lane was renamed as Wordsworth Road, the place had become respectable and Butterfield Gardens could slip easily off the tongue.