Friends of Memorial Park Task Days in 2018

Here are details of our task days in 2018.

Task Day 29 December 2018

A good turn-out for our final task day of 2018, taking the total for the year to 24, and over 1,000 volunteer hours worked!

Today's efforts included a tidy up of flowerbeds front and rear of the library, litter-picking, planting bulbs, clearing leaves from the car park and driveway, clearing windfall branches from the park and even clearing the access to Asda. Several of us finished the session in Oldknow's Bar, which is becoming a new tradition and a great way to end the year.

Here's a photographic look-back over the 12 months of 2018 with Friends of the Park.

A look-back on 2018

Task Day 24 November 2018

One of our volunteers' main tasks today was distributing 4 tonnes of topsoil provided by the council over the main flowerbeds, which should settle nicely after rain, frost and show over the coming winter. The other main task was planting bulbs around the benches over-looking the bowling green. There were some glitches with the camera today so a number of shots have gone missing but thankfully the one of volunteers doing a Conga over planted bulbs didn't get lost!

We also met with Andy and Tom, a couple of guys representing Forever Manchester, who came along to find out more about what we do. Forever Manchester is a charity that raises money to fund and support community activity across Greater Manchester. They've been a great support to Friends of the Park with the recent Auto Trader Community Fund grant towards the Ocean See-Saw and a CDL Fund grant and an FM Awards grant that both contributed toward the skatepark project.

This time we left some handmade cards near the War Memorial with our normal donation bucket. The cards were made by one of our volunteers and were available on an "honesty box" basis. Visitors to the park kindly left over £18 in our bucket.

Planting Bulbs
Planting Bulbs

Come on do the Conga!
Come on do the Conga!

Topsoil added to Flowerbeds
Topsoil added to Flowerbeds

Task Days 3 & 10 November 2018

We squeezed in an extra task day last Saturday and the council has been working hard in the park all week too, so today we were able to focus on the final touches before Remembrance Sunday tomorrow.

141 knitted poppies were added to the handrails on the War Memorial, one for each man killed during WWI 100 years ago. The cobbles in front of the Timeline were cleaned, which was a tricky job with so many people coming to look at the timeline! The chain-linked railings leading up to the small memorial were checked out and painted ready for tomorrow too. there was also a good final tidy of the driveway into the park, the flowerbeds, the memorial beds and all around the memorial itself.

The Union flag was raised on the main flagpole and Poppy Rocks created by local children were set around the small memorial too. With the Timeline complete and lots of work in the park including re-tarmacking of the main paths and the area where stone was stolen from the park entrance, weeds cleared by the Payback Team and leaves blown by the park attendants, the park is as ready as it can be for the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.

The park was busy and the public were exceptionally generous with over £47 donated in our collection bucket!

Thank you to David Burridge for several of today's photographs.

Task Day 27 October 2018

It was a bit cold today but one way to keep warm is to get stuck-in and our volunteers certainly did that!

New shrubs were planted in the toilet bed, some serious pruning was done around the council offices and there was lots of maintenance on the flowerbeds. Another big job was clearing leaves and detritus from the gutters and pathways along Memorial Park Drive. A small group of Marple Scouts and their leaders helped with this too but unfortunately they didn't have permission to photograph the kids, so we can't show them joining in.

We also had the annual clear-out of our tool store, painted the chains at the park entrances and picked litter too.

The public showed great support for what we do again, with just over £17 donated in our collection bucket plus a £40 donation made by a very generous gentleman who loves what we do in the park. Thank you!

Task Day 13 October 2018

After a very windy night thanks to Storm Callum, we spent much of the day clearing up fallen branches from the park, including one that had damaged a fence down near the canal. We'll repair the fence soon. It was still pretty windy in the park so, so we also focused on pruning in the Bandroom Garden, where it was a bit more sheltered. We also managed to strip some nettles behind the library and install the last set of paving slabs in front of the skatepark benches.

Task Day 29 September 2018

A glorious Indian summer day saw Friends of the Park focusing mainly on the beds alongside the offices and the car park, which were long overdue a good tidy-up.

We also added paving slabs to another of the skatepark benches to create a hard-standing to keep the mud off peoples' feet. We ventured outside of the park again to complete the painting of Lock 17 and while we had the paint out it seemed a good idea to do a bit of touching up in the park too.

Task Day 15 September 2018

A sad task today was to remove part of our Midnight tree sculpture that was becoming unsafe.

We created this wonderful addition to the park in 2007, when the tree from which it is carved was declared unsafe. It was great to bring something positive from the demise of this mature Copper Beech that has lasted more than 10 years but unfortunately as the carving was still rooted in the ground in the long-term its decay was inevitable. We have asked Myers Tree Care to remove the rest of it as soon as they can and we hope to find a way to replace it with something new in the future.

Other tasks included lots of work on the park's flowerbeds, the addition of paving slabs in front of one of the skatepark seats to create a hard-standing and work in the Bandroom garden. We also ventured outside of the park today to begin repainting the Lock 17 gates. This is another local feature that we helped to create in 2007 and is now maintained by our volunteers.

Back in the park, visitors dropped just over £15 into our collection bucket to in appreciation of our efforts.

It was great to see kids playing on our latest addition to the park - the new Ocean See-Saw in the Infants Play Area.

Read more about the creation of Midnight the Tree Sculpture.

Task Day 25 August 2018

Too damp for painting the Infants Play Area fence this time, so most of our volunteers got stuck into a tidy-up of the Breathing Places Reading Circle behind the library.

There was also some hedge trimming done at the Bandroom cottage and maintenance of park benches continued. Later on we also managed to get a coat of gloss on the Bowling Pavilion doors. Looks like we had the best of the Bank Holiday weather for our efforts!

Breathing Places Reading Circle

Thank you to generous park visitors, who popped just over £17 into our collection bucket.

Bowling Pavilion doors Reading Circle

Task Day 11 August 2018

Today the weather was just about perfect and we had a much more successful painting day and managed to make a decent amount of progress on the Infants Play Area fence.

Still a long way to go though! Other volunteers worked on the main flowerbeds, litter picking and the treatment and maintenance of park benches continued too.

Park visitors popped just over £13 into our collection bucket to say thank you for our efforts to keep the park looking its best.

Task Day 28 July 2018

Today's planned "big task" was to get stuck into painting the Infants Play Area fence but although we made a nominal start the wind forced us to stop and do something else.

More successful tasks included planting and maintenance in the Sensory Garden and the Scout Hut bed, strimming in the Bandroom garden and ongoing treatment of benches. The benches that have had the metalwork repainted are looking particularly good.

Thank you to park visitors, who showed support for our efforts by placing almost £8 in our donation bucket!

Task Day 14 July 2018

We were all over the place on our task day today!

Volunteers worked on the Jubilee Bed near the library, the main flowerbeds, the entrance to the park down by the cinema, the bandroom garden, on benches throughout the park and on the pavilion store. At one point we even had a volunteer clearing the drain in the car park and recovering three buckets of soil!

Flowerbeds in Marple Memorial Park

We are often told that the park looks better than it ever has and it's great to know that what we do is appreciated. Generous park users confirmed this by donating over £17 towards the upkeep of the park in our roving collection bucket.

Open Gardens 7 - 8 July 2018

Friends of the Park were delighted to be involved in the organisation of Open Gardens in Marple.

During the two days of the event we had an information point in the park, where we sold tickets, ran a raffle and talked to visitors about the open gardens and about our work in the park. It was a huge success and we were very pleased to play our part in raising an amazing £11,500 for Cancer Research UK!

Open Gardens in Marple

During Open Gardens we took the opportunity to have a dry-run on the installation of 141 knitted poppies on the war memorial railings. This is one poppy for every man on the memorial killed during WWI and will be repeated in November this year for the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War. Didn't they look wonderful!

Knitted Poppies

Special Task Day 26 June 2018

Today we compacted the French Boules Court using a Wacker-Plate from Wright Hire.

A big thank you to them for delivering and collecting the machine to the park for us and charging us a preferential rate for the hire. It was a hot and dusty task but it's now even better than when the contractor did it originally back in 2008.