Addresses by Lord Meath at the opening ceremony

Reginald Brabazon, 12th Earl of Meath, (31 July 1841 – 11 October 1929) was a British politician and philanthropist. He was a member of the London County Council when the park opened and delivered an address before Lord Rosebery, the first chairman of the London County Council.

July 24th 1889

The occasion on which we are met is the opening of the splendid park round which we have just walked in procession. I am sure we may congratulate Mr. Beck and the local committee on the success of their labours (cheers) and I feel certain that the County Council, after having seen this park, will think that the money that has been spent upon it has not been thrown away.

It is my duty to-day, Lord Roseberry, to introduce to you the committee which has been responsible for obtaining for the inhabitants of this metropolis this fine open space; and the further duty has been laid upon me of presenting you with the key to the gates of this park. Unfortunately the committee has been disappointed as to their intention to present you with a more beautiful key, but an ordinary one, if your lordship will accept it, I will now hand to you. (Laughter.)

Lord Rosebery, since you came to the high position of head of the County Council which you now occupy, several large parks have been and are being added to those already in existence in the metropolis. (Hear, hear.) The County Council do not, I am sure, desire to take credit to themselves for parks which were purchased by the late Metropolitan Board of Works, but at the same time this Council, and you, Lord Rosebery, are always anxious to do all you can to increase the number of open spaces at the disposal of the metropolis; and I think the Council may congratulate themselves that they have during the short space of time they have been in existence, been happy enough to open Myatt’s fields, Ravenscourt-park, Hampstead-heath extension, and now Clissold-park. (Cheers.) Four parks within a very short space of time, containing 364 acres. Within a short time you will probably be called upon to open a new park at Dulwich, of 72 acres.

Under your presidency the Council have been instrumental in assisting the acquisition of Vauxhall-park, and probably also of Brookwell-park. (Hear, hear.) At this moment we have under our charge some 42 open spaces, and although;this may seem a large number, it is not more than this vast Metropolis requires—indeed, there is room, if finances permit, for further acquisitions. (Cheers.) I have great pleasure in handing to you this key, and requesting you to declare this park open to the public. (Loud cheers.)

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