Friends of Memorial Park Task Days in 2022
Here are details of our task days in 2022.
The Park is ready for Remembrance Sunday
We had a great turnout of volunteers to help put the final touches to preparations of the park for this year's Remembrance Sunday Service.
Thank you to the park visitors who deposited over £25 in our collection bucket!
Thanks also to Hollins of Marple for the donation of a wheelbarrow full of perennial plants for the park flowerbeds!
Getting ready for Remembrance
Over the next couple of task days we'll be focussed on getting the park ready for Remembrance. Our volunteers were busy on the main flowerbeds this task day but our regular cameraman was absent. So we are delighted to share a couple of photos taken by one of the Totally Local Company operatives recently on an atmospheric early morning.
This is a great opportunity to say thank you to the operatives at the sharp-end whose efforts often complement our own!
A special treat from The Coffee Bean Dream!
Today's special treat for volunteers attending our task day was free coffee or tea at break-time provided by The Coffee Bean Dream. Friends of the Park believe Sarah and her friendly young staff are a fantastic asset to the park and Sarah is very supportive of what we do. We hope the community will help us support them by buying their drinks and treats when using the park.
Of course we did do some work to earn our break!
Today we did some work re-levelling and tamping the new surface created under the picnic benches in the Infants Play Area recently. At the moment this isn't compacting and settling the way it was expected and we've started a dialogue with the council to work out the best solution. We finished pruning one of the large shrub beds and worked on the war memorial beds too.
We also had to cut-off a padlock that had stopped working, clear a gutter and down-pipe on the former bowling pavilion and fill in a whole dug by dogs in the middle of the park that was pointed out to us by a park user. One job we didn't do ourselves but instigated with the council is the rebuilding of the small war memorial in the park. We're very please indeed with the job they've done and it's great to see it finished before Remembrance activities get underway for this year.
A productive task day tinged with sadness
In many ways it was a normal and productive day for Friends of the Park volunteers but one tinged with sadness caused by disheartening vandalism to a much-loved mature tree in the park by persons unknown. We clearly share that sadness with young people who use the park and felt compelled to publish a public statement about the criminal damage caused to the white Birch tree near to Lock 11. It's important to us to make sure local people do not think it was Friends of the Park volunteers who carried out this despicable act.
In terms of work done, we dismantled the remaining School Gardens bed created by All Saints' School and relocated most of the soil to what will become our new raised allotment bed. We also did a lot of tidying-up to the Reading Circle behind the library and some shrub-tidying at the Bandroom Garden. Later, we went and tidied up the branches left strewn around the woodland by the vandals and created some potential wildlife habitats. It was during this activity that we discovered posters left by young people who have been saddened too.
Hedge-trimming and new raised beds on the agenda
Friends of the Park were busy in the park again today, and with hedge trimming at the Band Room a little bit overdue we were delighted with the performance of our new battery-powered hedge cutters purchased with our Stockport CAN Fund Award back in May this year. Volunteers also got stuck into maintenance of the main flowerbeds, which are now starting to turn.
As autumn approaches it's also time to begin dismantling the School Gardens and St. Mary's responded very quickly to our request to remove plants, so theirs was the first to go. All plants are being reused by the schools and we have plans for the backing boards to reappear in the park soon. We are also recycling the timber and sleepers at the allotment bed in front of Hollins House. This follows on from Marple Allotment Association giving up the beds after more than 10 years. So we are planning to give them a boost by creating raised vegetable beds at the rear.
Infants Play Area picnic bench tops
On Friday, following the great work done by AstraZeneca to create hard-standings under the benches, we installed one of the picnic bench top that we've had in our store for a while. The first one is a little town-scape that is perfect for toy vehicles. The second, which should be installed soon, is a bit more educational.
The tops have been funded by our 50-50 Club and we hope that families with young children enjoy them.
Thank you to Park Users who popped over £18 in our collection bucket!
AstraZeneca volunteers help out in the park!
Friends of the Park were pleased to welcome 21 AstraZeneca employees to Marple Memorial Park today as part of a scheme to give back to the community. It was certainly a great benefit for us to receive help with painting of the Infants Play Area fence and pruning of four large shrub beds. The volunteers also tackled a job we'd been planning to do ourselves, which was to create new hard-standings under the two Infants Play Area picnic benches. This was a real bonus as they paid for the materials as well as doing a great job!
The whole event was organised and facilitated by a company called Employee Volunteering, who we were very impressed with and would highly recommend to other groups like ours.
Lock 17 on Oldknow Gardens
Friends of Marple Memorial Park have strayed outside the park today and had a good tidy-up of Lock 17 on Oldknow Gardens. Did you know that Friends of the Park have looked after Lock 17 since it was created in 2007. It's been such a busy summer that we let things go a bit but all caught up now. Here are some before and after photos. Isn't that better!
A catch-up with chores in the Infants Play Area
Today we focused on the Infants Play Area, with a good tidy-up of shrubs and more fence painting. Of course there was work done on the main flowerbeds too, and also at the toilet block, the Reading Circle, on the shrubs around Hollins House and litter picking. We also had a special treat at tea break, with an amazing pork pie and fruit tart from the wonderful Archer's Bakery.
Thank you to park users who donated almost £12 in our bucket!
A catch-up from July 2022
We did also have a task day on Saturday 30 July, when volunteers did a lot of work on the Allotment beds. These are returning to our care after being looked after by Marple Allotment Association since 2011. In addition, we've been beavering away on bench maintenance throughout the park too.
All hands on the flowerbeds to get ready for a Picnic in the Park!
An early start today due to the forecast heatwave saw most of our volunteers pile onto the main flowerbeds in order that they will look their best next Sunday 24th July, when the Brass Bands of Marple will be playing their Picnic in the Park concert to commemorate the park's 100th birthday.
Other tasks included bench maintenance, Band Room garden maintenance, watering of the new School Gardens, hedge trimming in the Infants Play area and clearing stray brambles along the woodland path in advance of the Family Treasure Hunt next Saturday.
Thank you to park visitors who deposited over £21 in our collection bucket!
A wide variety of jobs tackled in the park today
Our volunteers were all over the place today, with mowing and strimming in the Band Room garden, treating benches, trimming hedge and grass borders, weeding flowerbeds, watering new plants, clearing shrubs obstructing the handrails in front of Hollins House, picking litter and even painting the Infants Play Area fence ready for our School Gardens Project.
The park is looking amazing, thank you to the park visitors who popped almost £18 in our collection bucket and obviously agree.
Vandals cause disappointing start to today's task day
We arrived at the park today to discover vandalism to the roof of the former Bowling Pavilion and to the Infants Play Area fence yet again. This is the fourth time vandals have deliberately and systematically damaged the fencing around the play area, resulting in costs to the council and Friends of the Park that could have been spent on making improvements.
We reported the roof damage to the council and hope it will be dealt with quickly. Fortunately we had come armed with the right tools for another job and were able to replace all the slats that had been kicked off by the time we left. If you see anyone doing damage like this again please report to the police.
Please stop stealing plants from the park!
More disappointing news is that someone has been stealing plants from the park flowerbeds.
We know this because a family recently added a small plant to the War Memorial beds in memory of a loved-one who had passed away. A few days later the plant had been dug up and taken. When this was discovered a close friend of the deceased person replaced it with another plant but a few days later this was also stolen too. It has been very distressing for family and friends, who will be replacing the plant again soon. Friends of the park have added a small sign appealing for it to be left alone.
To make it clear to unscrupulous people who think they can help themselves to plants from the park - you are not stealing from the council (not that it's OK if you were) you are stealing from Friends of the Park volunteers and the local community who have paid for or donated all the plants and shrubs in the park flowerbeds. Please leave our plants alone!
If visitors to the park witness anyone removing plants from the beds not wearing a Friends' hi-vis vest, please challenge them as they are stealing from all of us!
Thankfully we did get some positive work done today
Better news is that our other volunteers mainly focused on tidying the second half of the War Memorial flowerbeds and we're pleased to complete this before Marple Carnival next weekend. We also straightened the edges of the flowerbed recently adopted by Marple Scouts. They've been doing lots of work on it recently and we're looking forward to seeing it develop.
Thank you to park visitors who popped over £14 in our collection bucket.
Sunday 12 June 2022
Quick visit to the park this morning to do a job that would have been done yesterday if we hadn't had to re-fix vandalised fence slats!
A very productive day for Friends of the Park!
We fell lucky with the weather and got a huge amount done in the park today. Tasks included a concerted effort to weed and tidy the War Memorial Beds. The low hedge was trimmed and the border redefined on one side too. We also did a bit of tidying in the Reading Circle, as it is going to be used for Story Time by the library on Monday.
We tried out our new cordless battery powered lawnmower in the Band Room garden and the new strimmer too. These have been purchased along with standard and long reach hedge-cutters with an award we received from the Stockport CAN Fund that has allowed us to remove our dependency on petrol powered tools. We were delighted with the results.
We also put a final coat of paint on the Coronation Bench (after another volunteer did the first coat of the seat last week) and it is now ready for the tree to be decorated as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Marple Tree Trail. Two of our volunteers also removed the remains of the 3 trees broken by vandals and the stakes that were driven a long way down.
Earlier this week one of our volunteers also finished painting the library steps and repaired a bench that had lost a slat.
Park visitors donated over £22 in our bucket too, thank you!