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Brooklin Skatepark Opens 1997

1997 Optimist Club of Brooklin, Ontario
SKATE COMPETITION

Saturday, September 6, 1997
Brooklin Skatepark-Luther Vipond Arena
67 Winchester Road West, Brooklin, Ontario

$5 entry fee – nice prize hookups for winners courtesy of Scottie’s barbecue and refreshments on site

OFFICIAL OPENING at 11:00 am followed by 30 minute registration and warm-up period. Contest starts at 11:30 am

Come out to watch or compete, check out the brand new skate park with bleachers tables and plenty of space to spectate.

This event is the culmination of efforts by the Town of Whitby, the Optimist Club of Brooklin, Ontario, Sorbara Developments, and the Brooklin Octagon Club specifically Brooklin student and skater Ken Montgomery who planned and directed the building of the skatepark, including securing funding and support from the Town of Whitby Council. This grand opening event is an official celebration of the building of the park and the positive influence it will have on area youths and the community at large. With news stories this summer documenting the problem of local youth’s clashing with adults and homeowners because of having nothing to do and no where to go in their free time, this development of a youth planned and maintained park is a positive accomplishment and indicates solutions for the future. Town authorities have planned to appear for an official ribbon cutting at eleven a.m. on Saturday September the 6th to kick off the contest.

The contest is being organized by student coordinator Sam Cooper and the design concept was directed by student Ken Montgomery.

Vipond Arena skatepark
Designed and paid for by Brooklin youth participants in Brooklin Optimist Club junior club.

The ‘Nip and Tuck, Railroad

It was long gone before I was born, let alone aware.

Brooklin once had a railroad and perhaps, to our town, it became a legend. I first became aware of it when crossing its old bed with my older brothers and sisters to reach a meadow that we played in, part of the farm across the road from where we lived. Later, when I was older, we used some of its old railway ties to build forts and, up closer to where the old bed crossed the 7th concession, apple trees grew wild.

This was the PW&PP Railway, (Port Whitby and Port Perry,) as it was first known as and then later, unofficially branded by the locals as the ‘Nip and Tuck’ line. Conceived as a possible rival for the ports in Toronto, allowing goods and farm produce from the expanse of the now Durham and Kawartha Lakes area to be shipped directly out of the Whitby piers, it ran from just about dockside in Port Whitby, up to Port Perry and, initially, had stations in Whitby, Brooklin, Myrtle, Manchester, Prince Albert and finally Port Perry, the last three developing towns being locked in an intense rivalry of politics and business aspirations. Later, after it had been extended all the way up to Lindsay, it became known as the WPP&L Railway. (Whitby, Port Perry and Lindsay.) With that extension, more stations were added; Seagrave, Sonya and a station for Manilla Junction which was actually located just north of the little town of Cresswell, where the line turned sharply east, forging its way towards its terminal station in Lindsay. Later, a further shunt line was built, heading southwest, to connect to the newer T&N line immediately east of Blackwater.

The sod turning ceremony took place on the 6th of October, 1869 and was conducted by Prince Arthur. The southern portion, although slowed by a bankruptcy and an unplanned railway gauge conversion, was completed on the 31st of August, 1870. The first train arrived in Port Perry in the spring of 1872.

There are two unconfirmed sources as to how the railroad got its nickname:
One says it was called ‘nip and tuck’ because it was operated ‘by the seat of its pants’ and the other because it was questionable whether or not the train, on any given day, could actually power its way through a tricky, high grade section of track that wound up through the Oak Ridges Moraine, between Myrtle and Manchester. From the various stories that have circulated over the years about its operation, both seem to fit remarkably well!

The section from Port Perry to Manilla Junction was abandoned in 1937 as the traffic from Lindsay was directed west to the newer T&N line. Sadly, the rest of the south running line was pulled up in 1941, with its steel going into the war effort.

Ironically, the last working section of the WPP&L line was used to run freight from Lindsay, down to the T&N line and from there to Toronto.

The line is gone but in the old-timers of Brooklin, the legend remains.

Kim C. Bailey

Images from Charles Cooper Railway Pages

The Booth, an old time concession stand

By Jennifer Bailey Hudgins

In 1936 my Grandmother, Hattie Bailey opened a concession stand in the orchard between her house at 149 Baldwin Street, N and my Grandfather Jerry’s Sunoco service station at 157.

Baileys Sunoco with Gene Bailey and friends.

This stand was referred to as “the Booth” and it was from here that Hattie sold sandwiches, beverages, baked goods, candy, cigarettes, ice cream and paintings by local artist Cliff Delong.

Grandma Baileys booth 2

Grandma Baileys booth

It was here that Verna Sonley Hodson began to work at the age of twelve in the summers before her marriage to Ray. A neighbour, Mrs Pengally baked pies Hattie sold by the slice and local women brought flowers from their gardens. Members of Rebecca Lodge had their tea parties in the orchard and the UCW held quilting bees.

Grandma-and-ladies-in-Brooklin

Before closing “the Booth” in 1953, Hattie also operated a concession stand for many years at the Brooklin Spring Fair.