History of Heywood Park
A fierce battle was fought in the 1920s to save Heywood Park for the Unley community.
The park takes its name from the Lancashire birthplace of its last private owner, State MP William Haslam, who bought 14 acres of land and a house by Brownhill Creek in 1896. Locals began looking longingly at tree-covered Heywood in1909, but the land was not for sale.
When eight acres of the land became available in 1917, shortly after Haslam's death, Unley councillor William Langham took up the cause. Three years later, while he was mayor, he suggested the council should buy the land to use as a park.
There was a heated public debate, but a poll on whether the council should acquire the land was lost. But Mayor Langham was not willing to give up the fight and decided to raise the money himself by calling for public donations.
Some councillors cried foul and another row broke out, but the mayor had managed to raise more than 4000 pounds. The council gave in and paid for the land in April 1920. The stoush was still not over though, with two rival buyers taking the matter to court because the poll had failed.
After a year of legal action, the council eventually took possession of the land and Heywood Park finally had its gala opening - complete with pony rides and a merry-go-round - on 10 December, 1921.