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Hermit Road Recreation Ground
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Hermit Road Recreation Ground  
The land for the park was bought for the town by John H. Bethell, Mayor of West Ham and then MP, and later Baron Bethell of Romford, who was a major influence in ensuring that public parks were provided as part of the development of the area. He was responsible for both Balaam Street Park, later renamed Plaistow Park, and Canning Town Recreation Ground. Bethell Road nearby recalls him. Hermit Road Recreation Ground was purchased with aid of private subscriptions assistance from the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association. The park was opened in May 1899. The original layout featured a tree-lined north-south axis with a bandstand in a central circular area, from which a tree-lined path also ran to the south-west corner; a perimeter walk with trees and shrubs encircled the park. Today the park houses Arc in the Park, an open access adventure playground for 5-14 year olds which particularly aims to include disabled children, and has a garden project with raised beds, a water feature, scented herbs.
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