Olympic champion and councillor Sir John Walker took a trip back in time when he joined Howick Local Board chair David Collings to open the promenade that carries his name in Flat Bush’s Barry Curtis Park.
On hand with his scrapbook from the 1984 Olympics was fan Karl Bissett, who secured Sir John’s signature across his photograph in pride of place in the 10 out of 10 gold star winning school project.
“We both won gold,” Sir John said.
“I was 11 when I made this at school and I’m 45 now, but I could never bring myself to throw it out,” Karl said.
“I’m really rather proud to have Sir John sign it all these years later, my teacher would be impressed!”
Mr Collings said the design of the John Walker Promenade was unique in that it differed from traditional park design, where you would normally enter a park to engage with what it offered.
“The eight-kilometre promenade will eventually circle the park for walking and cycling.”
It follows the park’s outer boundaries to ensure users can see everything on offer and access several entry points.
“Those entries will take users to a range of facilities from playgrounds, sports fields, toilets, a skatepark, community buildings, natural areas, event spaces, cross country running and a range of informal recreation and reflective spaces,” says Mr Collings.
“The promenade will be fully lit for evening use, and also shares a boundary with the currently under development Ormiston town centre, creating a strong walking and cycling connection with the development.”
Because the John Walker Promenade forms the park boundary it also acts as a barrier to keep vehicles out of the park, doing away with the need for bollards.