As you approach Cleveleys on the main road from the motorway network, you’ll pass the pretty little duck pond on Victoria West. It’s also known locally as the Swan Pond.
Just past Morrisons on your left is the ‘Welcome to Cleveleys’ wrought iron sign. Next on your right is a quaint old cabin for the bus stop. Just behind the bus stop you’ll see the duck pond – that’s if you don’t see the ducks first!
Duck Pond on Victoria Road West
The bus stop cabin sits among a small public garden – although it’s a bit on the small side to be called a park. Behind the decorative railings which keep toddlers safe from a soaking, is the duck pond itself.
It’s a fairly large pond, home to a wide variety of local wildlife, including mallards and the white ‘Jemima Puddle ducks’ with orange beak and legs. They’re all very tame and expect a meal from everyone who pays a visit. They sunbathe on the grass, waddling about quacking, and they’ll come to you asking for food.
If you’re going to feed the ducks it’s best not to give them bread. It’s the equivalent of us eating junk food, plus it pollutes their water and attracts vermin. Instead, feed them with wild bird food, or you could buy duck food for them. They’ll also enjoy chopped up green vegetables or lettuce. It’s much better for them!
Depending on the weather, they’re often helped along by seagulls. They venture inland when it turns cold or the weather’s rough. Plus, of course, the resident starlings.
What else lives in the Duck Pond?
Local folklore has it that terrapins live in the lake, one of which is quite huge. It could be an urban myth, or it could be a fact. Have you seen any?
After the Mutant Ninja film in the 1980’s there was a craze for pet turtles. Many of them were released into ponds and watercourses when their owners tired of them.
Cleveleys Duck Pond backs onto The Towers. That’s the small wooded urban retreat right in the centre of Cleveleys. There’s another pond in The Towers, and a whole host of wildlife to watch. Find out more about The Towers here.
History of the Duck Pond
Information about the origins of Cleveleys Duck Pond is thin on the ground. One source thinks that it was originally a ‘Dub’.
There were old settlements around this area going back to the time of the Domesday book. When houses were built with Wattle and Daub, the muddy clay was extracted from the ground, leaving holes that filled with water called ‘Dubs’. Apparently that’s also the origin of the pond at Wray Green, which is still nicknamed ‘The Dub’.
Thornton Cleveleys Past Facebook Group kindly provided these old photos. They’re not dated but probably go back to the early 1900’s, looking at the way the people are dressed in them.
Do you know any more?
If you know anything more about the past of the Duck Pond – why it was built, who built it, or what it might have been used for in the past – please get in touch. We’d like to add your comments to this article. If you’ve got any more photos from the past it would be great to share them too. All credit given to the source. Just email jane@theRabbitPatch.co.uk
While you’re here…
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