It has gone through many changes in the past and 25 years ago it almost became a theme park.

Once called the Royal Pier Recreation Ground, Mayflower Park holds a significant place in the history of Southampton.

The park has served as a popular spot for leisure, ship-spotting, and hosting outdoor activities for many years.

(Image: Echo)

During the 1930s, an ambitious vision took shape for the Royal Pier recreation ground, situated on reclaimed land that was once mud flats.

The year 1938 saw plans unfolding that hinted at the grand potential of this landmark development.

“The reclaimed land between the pier and the first of the Test Quays, No 101, is to become a place of public resort,” said records from the time.

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“Provision is made for a small car park near the entrance; a sunken garden, surrounded by rock gardens and enclosing an ornamental pond with a fountain, which forms the approach.

“Model yachtsmen will at last see the fruition of their dreams, for the central figure is a model yacht lake planned to catch the prevailing south west wind. It will be surrounded by paving and grass.

“At the north west corner there will be a bandstand and pavilion facing the lake, simply designed shelter will be placed along the paved terraces overlooking the waterfront with seating for 275 people.

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“There will be a children’s playground, sandpits and, to give a separate entrance to that area, a bridge over Docks Road is suggested.”

Following the outbreak of the Second World War, many of the proposed plans failed to come to fruition.

During the initial years of the 1950s, an elaborate promenade and a dedicated play space for children took shape.

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Following a renovation in 1955, the location underwent significant changes.

As the vehicle parking area diminished in size, the park was rebranded as Mayflower Park.

In the early 1960s, the council distributed 6,000 tons of topsoil in order to create grass spaces and introduce a putting green.

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Not much time passed before the park unveiled a new paddling pool featuring a unique concrete ship, a sandy play area, various playground equipment, and telescopes overlooking Southampton water. The pool is no longer in operation.

A new skate park emerged in 1997, providing a designated area for skateboarders, inline skaters, and BMX enthusiasts to hone their skills.

In the year 1999, the council disclosed its intentions to explore the possibility of partnering with a company to establish a theme park on the waterfront.

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Then-special events manager Sue Cheriton said: “We want to have the really big white-knuckle rides in the city, the sort of thing people otherwise have to travel miles to.

Unfortunately, the hopes of adventure enthusiasts were left unfulfilled as the Mayflower did not materialise into a hub for exciting white-knuckle rides.

However, Mayflower Park has remained a popular spot for people to lounge under the sun, skate around, or to simply watch the world go by.