Margaret Park

In 1938, the year before the Second World War began, Plymouth won a boundary extension which meant an instant growth in the city’s acreage from 5,711 acres to 9,595 acres. Construction surveyor James Frederick Constable, then in his early forties, had already started work on the Hartley Vale Estate (which now fell within the new boundary) by this time, including his developments Alleyne Gardens, named after his son Alleyn James, and Margaret Park, named after his daughter Zela Margaret. The name Zela came about because James and his wife Celia were happy that their second child should also be their last, so as the first was Alleyne they decided that the second should have a name that began with a “Z” and plumped for Zela. It is a wonder therefore that it wasn’t named Zela Park – however James’s son, who is better known himself as James rather than Alleyn, feels that it may be because his mother’s middle name was also Margaret and it may have been a deliberate gesture towards both of them.
Zela incidentally was about seven years old at the time, and after completing her schooling at Plymouth High School for Girls she later taught at Burleigh School. Now living in the Wirral, Zela Cameron (nee Constable) has two children of her own – and two grandchildren.