The cumbersome title assumed by the Friends of King George V and Scotland Yard Parks reflects the fact that the official name of the park is the King George V Park, Eyre Place, whereas locally and unofficially it is known as Scotland Yard. The official name indicates that the western section of the park came into being in the early post war years as a King George V Memorial Playing Field, with the National Playing Fields Association (now Fields in Trust) as its guardian trustees. The local name points to the origins of the eastern section which is the site of the former Scotland Street Goods Yard.
A concerted community effort in the early 1980s led to a complete reconfiguration and regeneration programme being undertaken by the then City of Edinburgh District Council and a derelict space was transformed. However, subsequent years of neglect took their toll and by 2002 the park had become run down once again. At this point a group of concerned local residents formed the Friends, with the aim of working with the City of Edinburgh Council to improve the appearance of the park and the facilities it offered people of all ages.