Armley residents are being encouraged to help maintain a much-loved park which dates back to the 19th century.
Charlie Cake Park is one of the plots of land that belongs to the people of Armley and is maintained by volunteers at the Armley Common Right Trust (ACRT).
Due to lockdown, the park has become a little overgrown in parts – and ACRT is appealing for anyone with some spare time to help maintain the park. A spokesperson said:
“In the past, we’ve had gardening days in Charlie Cake, at Moor Top and even Armley Moor. Last year, we weren’t able to get much done and Charlie Cake is looking a bit overgrown.
“Due to the restrictions, we still aren’t able to organise days where we all meet in the park, but we wondered if people would like to help out? There are some jobs which are possible to do on your own.”
Roses in the central beds need pruning back. ACRT cannot currently provide tools, so people are urged to bring their own ‘loppers’ or secateurs along with gardening gloves to protect hands.
Legend has it that Charlie, who was a peddler from Pudsey, would rest his horse in the park after a hard day’s work selling his cakes.
His signature cake was thought to be a kind of shortbread in the shape of a triangle, the same shape as the park. It’s said his cakes were so famous they were presented to Queen Victoria when she opened Leeds Town Hall in 1858.
It is thought the park was originally a patch of waste ground owned by the Gott family, who exchanged it for a plot of land owned by the township in Redcote Lane.
But from at least 1851 onwards the land was owned by the Churchwardens and Overseers of Armley Township.
Charlie and his cakes must have stayed in the hearts and minds of the people of Armley. Although the park opened as Whingate Park in the early 1900s, by 1915 it was appearing on the maps as Charlie Cake Park.