A NEW book exploring the heritage of Stourbridge's Mary Stevens Park is to go on sale and a celebratory launch event is planned later this month.
‘Beauty for everyone: The story of Mary Stevens Park’ - written by the Mary Stevens Park History Group - will be launched in the park on Thursday March 30.
Largely compiled by historians Roy Peacock and Stephen Howard - the book takes a look at the park's links to the glass glass industry in the 1600s and explores how the beauty spot has played an important part in local life for several centuries.
A number of volunteers contributed to the work by providing photographs, testimonials, memories and research - and book includes some rarely seen images of the area.
People can buy a copy for £7.99 from Mary Stevens Coffee Lounge in the park and Oldswinford Coffee Lounge No92 from March 30.
Free copies have also been made available to schools.
Councillor Hilary Bills, Dudley's cabinet member for environment, said: "The book provides a great insight into local history and also highlights the significant role that green spaces such as Mary Stevens Park continue to play in people’s lives.”
Publication of the book follows a raft of improvements that have been made to the park thanks to a £2.6m Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
The grant has enabled the park gates, war memorial, bandstand, Heath Pool and the tea gardens to be given a makeover.
A new cafe and toilet facilities and activities delivered by a heritage ranger have also given the park a boost.