A Park Supreme - a play about Sir Robert Ropner, Victorian philanthropist
Having become a rich and successful businessman, Sir Robert bought a parcel of land in Stockton-on-Tees which he gave to the Council."I think that a Park for a town like ours is most desirable, if not absolutely necessary, and I have, therefore, much pleasure in offering to pay the cost of the ground now under consideration, provided the Council will undertake to lay it out tastefully and keep it up forever."
A Park Supreme tells of the astonishing but entirely true story of Sir Robert Ropner (1838 - 1924). It is a remarkable historical tale of endeavour, enterprise and entrepreneurial spirit with echoes and repercussions in the present day. Ropner Park fell into decline, but recently Stockton Borough Council's Parks Department have applied successfully to the Lottery Commission to restore the Park to its Victorian splendour. So Sir Robert's dream of a place for the population of his town to play and relax is assured.
This play was commissioned by Hartburn Primary school in Stockton-on-Tees. It has 4 excellent songs to illustrate and underscore the action on stage. It was first performed in April 2005.
Although this play is of local interest to schools and drama clubs in the North East of England, reading and performing this play will help to fulfil the following National Curriculum Programmes of Study for History in Key Stage 2: -
Pupils should be taught to: place events, people and changes into correct periods of time,
Knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past
2) Pupils should be taught:
- about characteristic features of the periods and societies studied, including the ideas, beliefs, attitudes and experiences of men, women and children in the past
- about the social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity of the societies studied, in Britain and the wider world
- to identify and describe reasons for, and results of, historical events, situations, and changes in the periods studied
- to describe and make links between the main events, situations and changes within and across the different periods and societies studied.
8) In their study of British history, pupils should be taught about:
- the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings; Britain and the wider world in Tudor times; and either Victorian Britain or Britain since 1930