THE BLOXIDGE TALLYGRAPH

The online Community News and Local History Magazine for Bloxwich & District - Edditid by a Bloxidge mon!

Friends of Bloxwich Parks Group



The friends care for three parks in Bloxwich:

  • Promenade Gardens
  • Bloxwich Park
  • King George V Playing Fields

We were set up in 1998 with the aim that the parks should be used to promote a greater sense of community in the town, and are therefore committed to developing and encouraging more use of the parks.   

In 1999 we were instrumental in the provision of the Lido, picnic benches, and additional park benches in other areas of King George V Playing Fields, and we were actively involved in the protection of the Promenade Gardens from re-development

We also supported, in conjunction with West Midland Arts, Walsall Council Parks Department, the repainting of the shelter in Bloxwich Park.  The project was undertaken by Walsall Youth Arts working with the Learning Gateway Life Skills Programme.

During 2000 we explored the creation of a conservation pool and added new areas of woodland as part of the Millennium Forest project.

In addition we successfully applied and were awarded a £5000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund under the Millennium Festival for All, for the restoration of the 1891 fountain in the Promenade gardens, and the revival of the carnival. We then brought together a range of community groups within Bloxwich to work as a sub committee of the Friends Group to organise the carnival.  On August the 12th 2000 the 48th Bloxwich Carnival was successfully revived on a day bathed in glorious sunshine. 

Other events that have used our parks have included a gospel day organised by local churches.

We also began to spread our message over a wider area by setting up our own web page in conjunction with Bloxwich.com (now defunct), and the publication of a pamphlet detailing a brief history of Bloxwich Parks.

In 2001 we again provided support for the Carnival (Bloxwich’s 49th) and as part of this year’s Carnival the tradition of the “Old Folks” tea party was revived.  On the Friday before the Carnival, King George V Playing Fields hosted a party in a marquee sponsored by the Staffordshire Building Society. 

Entertainment for the 200 plus guests was provided by a 1901 “Wonderland” Fairground Organ sponsored by Pat Collins Fun Fairs.  Vehicles were provided by Walsall Community Transport to get guests to and from the event.  Staff from Frank F. Harrison Community Association served the tea and cakes. The afternoon was extremely successful with everyone commenting on how pleasurable it was.  Since then this is a long awaited event by the community.

The Friends also promote other activities in our parks during the year, including fun days, health walks, inter sports days, conservation days, events such as the Carnival, dance band contests and bonfire.

Development of the Park continues, 2006 has seen the addition of a skate park, additional benches and refurbishment of some of the boundary fences.

Our ambitious plans for the restoration of William Wiggin Avenue in King George V Playing Fields have stalled somewhat since 2002, and the needs of other areas of the park have needed to be considered.  So our current plans concern the entire park.  This will be a major task which will include boundary fencing, signage, a health walk, a new bowling green, re-consideration of the variety and amount of sports, space for community events such as the Carnivals, space for sensory plants and quiet reflection, spectator benches, car parking and refurbishment of the buildings. This will be undertaken as part of a multi phased plan.

We are constantly aware of the greater needs of the community and have attended discussions with other groups on the requirements of Bloxwich residents for green spaces, sports and recreational facilities.  We are always available to work with other groups in order to extend and enhance the facilities and use of our parks.

The Friends of Bloxwich Parks meets monthly to discuss and air views and welcomes all members of the community.  Annually we meet to formally appoint our committee.

George Jevons 
 

CONTACT FRIENDS OF BLOXWICH PARKS GROUP COMMITTEE:

 

Friends of Bloxwich Parks

Contact: Kate Frost

Telephone: 01922 405102

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FRIENDS NEWS

SEED SOWING LATEST

A riot of colour in the nature meadow (Pix by Kate Frost)

Dateline: 17 April 2011

The above pictures show the spectacular display produced by seed sowing last year in in the Nature Meadow of King George V Playing Fields, Bloxwich.

This is all thanks to the hard work of the Eco Council members from Lower Farm Primary School supported by members of staff and volunteers from the Friends of Bloxwich Parks Group under the guidance of Julia Morris from Black Country Living Landscape.

Why not visit the meadow yourself during the fine weather to take a look at their handiwork?

Kate Frost

Secretary, Friends of Bloxwich Parks

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SOWING SEEDS FOR THE FUTURE

Seed sowing in KG5 (Pic courtesy Friends of Bloxwich Parks)

Dateline: 4 July 2010

 

The Friends of Bloxwich Parks Group have been working in partnership with Walsall Council, The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and Black Country and Walsall Housing Group to improve an area of conservation in King George V Playing Fields. 

The conservation area is being developed for both people and wildlife, to create an interesting and attractive space where people can be close to nature, enjoy bird watching and bug hunting!

 

2010 is the year of Biodiversity and to help encourage more wildlife to the site, including bees and butterflies; the group are creating a bright and colourful meadow area that can be enjoyed by everyone including bugs! 

With a lot of help from Lower Farm Primary School’s Eco Council during the first week of June, Julia Morris from the Wildlife Trust together with members of the Friends Group worked with the school children to sow seeds over the meadow area.

 

Everyone had a really good time and thoroughly enjoyed participating in the activity. A bright candy seed mix has been sown and the eco council can’t wait too see the results in the coming months and to find out what wildlife it may attract.

A big thank you to all involved in making the day a success and thank you to Fleur from Jack Moody’s who kindly paid for the compost to mix with the seeds and give them a good start.  

The Friends Group have further plans for the area so watch this space...

Kate Frost

Secretary, Friends of Bloxwich Parks Group

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TREE PLANTING IN KG5 CONSERVATION AREA 

A typical Field Maple

Dateline: 29 June 2010

On ‘Arbor Day’ the last Friday of April 2010 the Friends of Bloxwich Parks Group planted two 7 year old trees in King George V Playing Fields to mark the beginning of the tree planting programme in the Conservation Area. This was followed up on May 7  by the Friends Group together with Julia Morris from Black Country Living Landscapes and Ian Mc’Dermott the Borough’s Principal Arboricultiralist planting 50 whips and praying for rain as the weather was dry and hot, sorry to everyone who was praying for sunshine. At least half have survived but it is a shame that one of the 2 planted to mark ‘Arbor Day’ has sadly been ‘taken’ but the hole was left for us to fill in.

We hope the person or persons realise that it will grow to be a beautiful Field Maple (height and spread at least 30ft.) not your average front garden specimen. The two trees were donated by Alcan the aluminium recycling people and the boys and girls of the old Blakenall Community Youth Club collected 100 kilos of cans for each tree, a lovely story with a not so lovely ending. The third tree obtained this way was planted by the Youth Club in the grounds of Blakenall Community to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of VE Day and is becoming a lovely specimen Rowan Tree. The Friends Group will eventually replace the missing tree but sadly the one that went missing was looked after by one of our members for 5 years and you can’t replace the years as easily.    

Kate Frost

Secretary, Friends of Bloxwich Parks

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AN UPDATE FROM THE SECRETARY

Kate and Syd view the fountain and railings in the rain (pic courtesy Kate Frost)

Dateline: 29 May 2010

Finally a positive piece of the Fountain Fiasco, today in the rain Syd, Peter and myself, all members of the Friends of Bloxwich Parks Group and involved in the refurbishment project of the Bloxwich Fountain from the outset in 2006, watched the protective railings which are an essential part of the fountain project being installed.

The company, West Midlands Fencing, from Wednesbury have done a superb job both in the making and the finishing, a shame that can't be said for the rest of the project.

The colour both of the fountain and railings is Malachite Green and should have silver embellishments but another blip on the screen has occurred so that we now need a benefactor to provide the paint or the funds to put that right.

Finishing touches by West Midlands Fencing (pic by Kate Frost)

To restore the fountain to its original colours of fake stone and marble was never an option and the other colours that have been previously used, pastels in the 60s, blue and gold in the 80s, and black and gold in the 90s were old hat, so we decided on a vibrant “greeny-blue” to bring the fountain into the 21st century and I think we have succeeded, but will not please everyone and who can?

The project is only half done and funds are now needed to create a re-painted pool area and sunken garden area, this will take time but the Friends Group will continue to fight for the job to be finished off to the quality that the fountain, the Promenade Gardens and indeed the people of Bloxwich deserve.

ANYONE OUT THERE WILLING TO HELP, PLEASE JOIN US.  WATCH THIS SPACE!!!

Kate Frost

Secretary, Friends of Bloxwich Parks

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Bloxwich Parks History

Bloxwich Parks have a long and proud history.  Click on the link below to read our special illustrated feature by GEORGE JEVONS:

Bloxwich Parks History

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