Friends of Memorial Park Task Days in 2019

Here are details of our task days in 2019.

Task Day 28 December 2019

We were blessed with a beautiful day to blow out the Christmas cobwebs on our last task day of the year.

In 2019 we have worked over 1,000 volunteer hours in the park! Today we cut-back overgrown shrubs behind the Infants Play Area, tidied the War Memorial Beds, continued crown-lifting of low branches on trees and cleared leaves around the Bowling Green too.

It was great to see our request to replace the missing drum sticks on the Pirate Ship has been fulfilled by the council too.

Pirate Ship

Task Day 30 November 2019

Despite a frosty start it turned into a beautiful day just right for planting over 2,000 bulbs with the help of four Duke of Edinburgh Award students. This kept the photographer busy too, so there are not as many pictures of other activities as usual.

New top soil

Those other activities included filling ruts with soil in the new wildflower meadow area of the park, clearing and tidying the main flowerbeds and the war memorial beds, crown-lifting of trees to remove branches at eye-level, litter-picking throughout the park and lots of work on the Reading Circle behind the library following completion of the hard-standing resurfacing that we paid for.

Planting of bulbs with the students included Bluebells around the new pine trees near to the Skatepark, a Bee-Mix selection in the canalside wildlife area and daffodils planted behind the three old wooden benches along the main path. Of course that included the obligatory conga to tread down the soil and turf on top of the newly planted bulbs. Bee-Mix bulbs were also planting in the Reading Circle woodland and miniature daffodils and crocuses in the war memorial beds by our volunteers too.

Duke of Edinburgh Conga

While all this was going on the public in the park kindly donated over £17 in our collection bucket to show their appreciation.

Task Days 6, 8 & 9 November 2019

Sadly our task day scheduled for Saturday 26 October was rained off, which allowed us watch the Rugby World Cup final but set us back a little on our preparations for Remembrance Sunday.

In order to catch-up and have the War Memorial and flowerbed areas looking the best they could we were also in the park on Tuesday 5th, when we added new commemorative flags and wreaths to the railings, Wednesday 6th and Friday 8th, when our volunteers worked closely with council operatives who were cutting the grass and clearing leaves from the park.

We were also in the park the week before to fix the Poppy Appeal Team's Street Poppies to the lampposts.

On Saturday 9th, as well as putting the finishing touches to the area where the Remembrance Service will take place, we picked litter, cleared leaves from around the library, mowed the lawn in the Band Room garden, trimmed shrubs and bushes around Hollins House and began work on clearing stones and seeding the the top section of the area used by CRT as their compound during the refurbishment of Lock 11. This is a new project that should see a wildflower meadow in the park next summer.

New flags are flying

While doing all this we had a large supply of cooking apples for visitors to the park to help themselves and they kindly left over £33 in our collection bucket to show their appreciation of the work our volunteers do.

Happy to Chat Bench

In addition to all this, following creation of the first Marple "Happy to Chat Bench" on Derby Way in September this year, Friends of the Park have now created a second Marple Chat Bench in Memorial Park. Read more about the Marple Happy to Chat Benches on the Marple Website.

Happy to Chat Bench

The bench chosen is one of the three on the slope overlooking the Bowling Green, which was felt to be a good place for people to stop and talk. As with all "Happy to Chat" benches anywhere in the country, we now need the community's help to make it work. So if you see someone sitting at this bench in the park please make the effort to stop and say "hello".

Task Day 12 October 2019

A smaller than usual band of volunteers today enjoyed a surprise visit from the sunshine.

Unfortunately the park was still so wet that it wasn't possible to work on the flowerbeds without making a mess of the grass, so we focused on litter-picking and clearing weeds from the main entrance to the park, the car park and pathways. We also carried out a gentle crown-lift of branches at eye-level on trees throughout the park.

One of our volunteers spent the morning engaging with visitors to the park about our new 50-50 Club scheme too.

The sun encouraged plenty of visitors to the park, who kindly donated over £43 in our bucket!

A special thank you to the two young lads who joined in to help pick up litter at the skatepark!

Weeding pathways

Weeding pathways

Task Day 28 September 2019

We almost cancelled today due to the rain but decided to give it a go. A surprising number of volunteers turned up and we managed to get some work done on the war memorial beds, complete a litter-pick and plant four trees donated by a local resident. However, by tea break the rain was very heavy and seemed set-in for the day, so we retired gracefully but very wet! One of our volunteers also spent the morning engaging with visitors to the library about our new 50-50 Club scheme.

Earlier this week we were delighted to unveil the cobbled setts we've had laid in from of Danny Winter's bench. This small project has been funded by Friends of the Park, with a very generous contribution from Danny's family too.

Danny Winter Bench hardstanding

Task Day 14 September 2019

A quieter turn-out due to the Tour of Britain coming through Marple at lunchtime today. What a beautiful day it was for that too! We broke off from our labours to watch it go down Station Road at amazing speed.

Despite the lower numbers today we still managed to do a good amount of work, including resetting some broken and misaligned slabs in front of a bench, litter-picking, planting in the Jubilee Bed in front of the library, weeding on the main flowerbeds and the application of yellow safety paint to the steps at the Bowling Green.

One of our volunteers also spent the morning engaging with park visitors about our new 50-50 Club scheme and we received lots of positive feedback about what we do for the park. Sign-up before the end of the month to be included in the first draw.

Visitors also showed their support by donating just under £20 in our collection bucket.

Town Centre Task Days 10 & 13 September 2019

In 2016 we began a major refurbishment of the benches in Marple Town Centre. We completed the refurbishments in 2019 with the last 3 benches on the Hollins. Every one of them has now been sponsored by a local family or business.

This week we paid our annual visit to maintain and re-treat all the benches to keep them in the best possible condition. Our visit coincided with discussions in the Marple Community Hub Facebook group about "Chat Benches", so we teamed up with The Marple Website and with the support of local shop keepers made one of the benches on Derby Way into the first Marple "Happy to Chat" bench. Read more about this on the Marple Website:

Happy to Chat Bench
Marple's first Happy to Chat Bench on Derby Way

Task Day 31 August 2019

Mixed weather with a late downpour that sent us to the pub didn't stop lots of work being achieved today.

We even managed to finish painting the library steps and hopefully it wasn't all washed away! Lots of was work done on the Jubilee Bed in front of the library too and all those annoying weeds were cleared from between the paving slabs and brickwork. In other areas, the Bandroom lawn was mown and the hedge trimmed, litter was picked, self seeded saplings were bashed with the Pullerbear, and there was also work done on the bed behind the Toilet Block and the one in the Infants Play area.

The uncertain weather meant fewer visitors to the park but those who came popped just over £10 in our bucket.

Task Day 17 August 2019

Our volunteers weren't put off by the early showers and enjoyed mainly sunshine with another shower at tea break. This time we were mostly back on the main flowerbeds, where there was lots of work to do thanks to the weather.

Working on the flowerbeds

We did the usual litter-pick but the park was relatively clear, presumably also thanks to the recent weather. We did more work using our fantastic Pullerbear to remove self-seeded saplings along by the canal this time too. Unfortunately the camera wasn't available to capture this work but there is plenty more to do so we should manage it next time.

Working on the flowerbeds

With us more visible today and the sun being (mostly) out we had the extra boost of more than £35 donated in our bucket by visitors who love the way we look after the park.

Task Day 27 July 2019

We were hoping to complete painting safety lines on the library steps but the threat of rain put that on hold.

Fortunately we had received a large selection of donated plants via the council, so set our volunteers to planting these. Locations included the shrub bed alongside the path to Station Road, the Bandroom garden and the Reading Circle behind the library. We also trimmed the hedge of the Bandroom and weeded and pruned around the boundary borders.

We also litter-picked and cleaned up the skatepark quarter pipe, where someone appears to have thrown up all down the ramp, and (after reporting it to library staff) cleaned up the remains of a small fire under the library stairs where someone had burned their school text books. Clear indicators that the school holidays have started then.

Although we were not as visible as usual this time, as we only did a small amount of work on the main flowerbeds, enough park visitors found us to donate just over £17 in our bucket.