Friends of Memorial Park Task Days in 2023
Here are details of our task days in 2023.
Installation of Nativity Sculptures on Market Street
It's become a tradition for Friends of Marple Memorial Park to end our year by installing Wayne Chaisty's Nativity Sculptures in the Town Centre.
We took over the task of storing and managing the sculptures from Churches Together several years ago as they were having trouble handling them when stored at All Saints' Church. It's much easier for us to keep them at the park and we can transport them to Market Street without vehicles, so much greener too!
It was fun to supervise this small team of volunteers as they did their community service this morning!
Cold start to a glorious day day in the park!
It was a very cold start but we soon warmed up in the sunshine as we began working and it was a lovely day to be in the park.
Due to the frost we left flowerbeds alone and focused on tidying around benches (and the stocks) which now require extra work after we persuaded the council to stop using weedkiller around them earlier this year. We also swept the paths on the main drive into the park, tidied the Reading Circle and did our usual litter-pick.
A mini-task day to secure the wreaths around the War Memorial
We usually manage to secure the wreaths around the war memorial after the Remembrance Sunday service but it was a bit wet, cold and blowy, so we waited for a more favourable weather-window. That arrived today and we got the wreaths anchored down. Hopefully they will stay in place until it's time to remove them, which we usually do in January.
Brollies out at the Remembrance Service on Sunday 12 November 2023
A stunning Remembrance Day in Memorial Park!
The park was beautiful in the early mist this morning, which was burned away by glorious sunshine in time for 11am. There were lots of people in the park for the two minutes silence and we orchestrated this informally using a recording of The Last Post and Reveille that was quite moving, despite the (insert your own word) talking through it on his phone.
In terms of tasks today, we planted several hundred bulbs supplied by the council behind the benches overlooking the Bowling Green, did some work in the Infants Play Area, picked litter and put the finishing touches to our preparations for the Remembrance Sunday Service tomorrow. We always like the park to look its very best and we've been well assisted in this aim by TLC's park maintenance operatives too, who have also put in a lot of extra work during the past week. We thank them for their efforts on this.
After tea break we headed down to the Lock 10 entrance to dismantle some large branches that someone had dragged into the park from the canal.
Remembrance is approaching and we like the park to look its best!
Today we focused on tidying the main flowerbeds and edging the paths on the approaches to the war memorial as we head towards the month of Remembrance. We also added topsoil to the Sensory Garden opposite the Scout Hut and did a litter-pick around the park. It's clear some park visitors are picking litter too, and we thank you for that!
We met with Zoe from Marple Mutual Aid for a photo shoot at the Covid memorial and you will hopefully see an article about this in the Marple Review soon.
Boules court maintenance is underway too
We also had an inbetweenie task day recently to begin overdue maintenance on the French Boules Court - it looks like we have a big job breaking out with tired sleepers!
A beautiful autumnal morning allowed us to crack on with park maintenance
Tasks today included transferring new topsoil to the Band Room garden, a good tidy-up of the allotment beds, plus regular maintenance on the main beds and war memorial beds.
Due to the amount of rain over the last few days it was too wet to treat benches but our dedicated bench volunteer wasn't lost for a job and got stuck into tidying bases instead.
Outdoor Exercise Equipment
We are sure many of you will be wondering what's happening with our outdoor exercise equipment project. Installation should have been completed a couple of weeks ago but unfortunately the Mag Bells unit was installed incorrectly. Thankfully we spotted this before tarmacking and work was stopped for investigations. The Mag Bells unit has now been removed and gone off-site for refurbishment. We understand it is due to return soon and then the final stages of the works can be completed and everything will be ready to use.
Great to have two new volunteers join us as we begin to focus on getting ready for Remembrance
We turned our attention mostly back to the main flowerbeds and war memorial beds as Remembrance seems to be coming at us rather fast this year! Other work included our regular maintenance at the Band Room garden, sanding and treating benches, and cutting up of a large fallen branch in the canal-side woodland to create some extra wildlife habitat.
Thank you to park visitors who popped almost £30 in our collection bucket!
Today we strayed outside the park again to Oldknow Gardens
As many local people will know, Friends of the Park have maintained the Lock 17 bed since it was created way back in 2007.
There have been repairs ongoing next to the bed by a CRT contractor for many months and we were keen to get the bed sorted now that they've gone.
We had a good tidy up and mowed around the bed but we were very disappointed to discover what a poor job CRT's contractor has made of tidying up after themselves and how much rubbish they have left behind. We are very surprised CRT accept such slovenliness from their contractors.
We understand the council are meeting with the contractor on Friday and we hope this gets sorted quickly.
Today our volunteers were mostly melting and had to finish early!
A lower turnout than usual due to holidays meant we were spread a bit thin and it was a little too warm to get very much done. Despite the growing heat we managed a to mow the band room garden and triangle, do some strimming, tidy the circular bed, the allotment beds and the wildflower bed too. When you say it quickly it sounds quite a lot!
Earlier this week we also took advantage of a cooler morning to fit some new nets to the basketball hoops with hooks the recently council fitted for us.
Lots of good work but we were rained off after tea break!
We dug up the last of the potatoes from the allotment beds and with bird-nesting season behind us it was good to get the Band Room hedge trimmed. Other volunteers were busy on the main flowerbeds and the war memorial hedge but not many photos taken due to rain stopping play early.
We were sad to see someone has vandalised one of the park benches and we will assess for repair.
The council fixed their tractor and cleared our green waste area at last, so we started filling it again!
Today's tasks included our regular maintenance of the Band Room garden and mowing around the long grass triangle - we do this so it looks like we've left it long intentionally rather than neglected it - we'd love some feedback on whether you like the long grass being left in the park or not?
We also got stuck into the shrubs and bushes at the front of Hollins House and the two beds adjacent to the car park, which we'd left a bit too long since the last time.
We did a litter-pick and a bit of strimming around various fixtures and fittings too.
Thank you to park users who left almost £30 in our collection bucket.
We stayed mostly dry and only had to shelter from the rain a couple of times!
A disappointing start to this task day was the discovery that someone has placed horse-muck around the vandalised tree at Lock 11. We've cleared this up and reported the act to local councillors, the council and police with a warning that it appears to be another action with malevolent intent towards the young people who use the area.
We managed to mow the band room garden and triangle before the rain came. We also weeded the new wildflower bed, which is starting to show some positive signs, worked on the main beds and did a litter-pick and some sweeping in the Infants Play Area. Park use was quite due to the weather but we still had £12 in our bucket by the end of the day.
It's good to see the bed behind the toilet block is recovering after the council's contractor trashed it last year but wish they hadn't painted those dark brown patches!