Sunny Buncers

by Eric Mount

Crowds flock to Sunny Buncers

Crowds flock to Sunny Buncers

Once upon a time there was a beautiful park near Hipperholme, Halifax. Its beauty attracted locals in their many thousands and consisted of natural scenic landscapes with 2 man made boating lakes, a miniature railway, a Maze and an ice rink.

The grounds appearance was mainly down to the work of Mr Joseph Bunce, who opened the market gardens, hence Sunny Vale became popularly known as 'Sunny Bunces'

For years these were hugely popular grounds until sadly, the grounds became neglected and deteriorated badly and became the new, ugly but popular home of stock car racing, where spectators still gathered in large numbers.

Eventually, even stock car racing had had its day and the grounds were left to nature, which has, so far failed to return them to their former glory.

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Jan 09, 2021
Sunny Bunces
by: Anonymous

Perhaps this should be Bunces, without the'r'. I think you are wrong about the ice rink. It was a roller skating rink.

Jan 18, 2020
by: Anonymous

My mum - horn 1929- always spoke so fondly of the times spent st sunny bunches. Amazing to see it for myself. When we walk down the valley we try and imagine it as it was

Feb 23, 2019
Colourised film
by: George Warwick

Edwardian Britain in Colour on Channel 5 23/2/2019 has a small section on this very place with recoloured film (presumably the extracts featured elsewhere on this site) - very good programme. Had never heard of the Buncers before!

Apr 27, 2015
Sunny Vale (Buncers)
by: Mike

There was no Ice Rink at Sunny Vale it was a Roller Skate Rink, very posh, with Band Stand. I know the area very well as I was born and brought up close by. I attended often in the latter part of this parks hay days. One unexpected bonus, I and a friend were due to start Senior School but the place was unprepared (first batch of War babies) so we were given an extra 6 weeks hols which coincided with the abandonment of Buncers. Everything was in place apart from the steam train (removed). We spent the whole of that extra six weeks there totally undisturbed using everything that was left. We had the time of our lives and it lives in my memory forever as wonderful wonderful days.

Jan 12, 2015
Film of Sunny Buncers
by: Paul Clement

Here is a great 1901 film from Sunny Buncers

Jul 03, 2014
Weekly trek to Sunny Vale ( Bunces )
by: Rodger Shackleton

As kids we used to trek from home in Southowram to Bunces near Hipperholme. Our journey took us from Law lane, down the rough dirt Whitley lane passing Ivy house on the right. The road forked and was Sunny Bank lane to the left and Walter Clough lane to the right, passing W/clough hall. Just by the old hall was a run down low level building, an ex pub then closed but still signed as "who would of thought it inn" or as we said
"who wod a thowt it". Near the bottom of this lane was "sunny vale pleasure gardens". We entered via some old turnstile after dropping a threepenny bit in a slot. Inside were 2 lakes, small for fishing and the large had boats, even a "roundaboat", it carried 15 passengers ( one penny) a ride.The big lake had 2 islands full of shrubs and ducks etc. A "helter-skelter" and roller skating rink were popular. You could buy coloured jars to carry home the tiddlers you caught in the small lake, or tadpoles. There was a large café and a bar done out in a western theme with cowboys painted on the walls. A "slot hurdy gurdy machine" took a penny and played a never ending string of cowboy style music.
ALTON TOWERS, not on yer life, Bunces were best!!
When bunces closed a Southowram chap called Dick Gaynor bought all the old motor boats along with the slide and café frontage signs, these are still rotting away in a field opposite Ashday Hall
in Southowram. He also had 8 old Trojan vans with "Brooke Bond Tea" adverts painted on, just like the ones the chimps used to "drive" on the early tv adverts.
Still in Southowram, at the end of South View was a disused joiners workshop ( Wadsworths )this was used by Mr Gaynoras a store for his old collection of cars, vans and motorbikes. I along with pals, used to go and play "driving to Blackpool" on these old vehicles instead of going to Sunday school. How thoroughly enjoyable to have been born in 1947. How many Halifax folk will have "sledged" down Southowram Bank on a coal shovel in snow, hiding it over the wall until walking back home at tea time to be used for coal and then a sledge the day after. Sometimes if we were lucky and found ( or nicked) an old plastic corn sack TWO of us would ride down and what a long way to sledge and at such dangerous speeds, fanbloodytastic is what I say.

Jan 19, 2014
Sunny Bunce's
by: anon

I remember Sunny Vale as a pleasure park in 1947/8.
There was no ice rink but a large outdoor wooden board roller skating rink.

In later years when the park was redundant some of the local kids mad off with the Novelty Bicycles. These were propelled, not with pedals but by going up and down on the saddle. It was great fun bobbing along the Village.
Unfortunately the local Bobby got to hear of it so the bikes disposed of rapidly. They were dumped in the Law Lane Quarry where Mackintoshes dumped their old Quality Street tins and advertising material.
This lot now resides under the Doctors Surgery!

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