Friends of Valley Gardens
Harrogate’s Award-Winning Park
Charity no: 1148369
President: Martin Fish
FOVG Newsletter Autumn 2012
Preceded by frantic tree and soil clearance, work has at last begun to restore the outside of the Old Magnesia Well Pump Room (OMWPR). Drainage will be constructed, and a stonemason, a joiner, a roofer and a decorator will be working hard behind the safety barriers. In five or six weeks we expect to see the first part of FOVG’s major project completed.
Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) is acting as Clerk of Works for the project and at a site meeting on 11 September Head of Parks and Open Spaces Patrick Kilburn gave the “thumbs up” for work to begin. Pictured below is the “cutting of the first sod” by HBC Parks Supervisor Chris towards the creation of a three metre wide path round the building. The soil removed has been piled near the reservoir in readiness for the restoration of its surrounding rockery.
Robert Grange is re-designing the path configuration. A decision on the types of surface for this and other paths to be planned has yet to be made. In the lead up there has been much activity behind the scenes. Planning permission had to be applied for and when that had been achieved an application had to be made to the Secretary of State as the OMWPR is a Grade ll Listed building. FOVG heard of the success of the application at the beginning of September.
On 10 June FOVG hosted a second 40s Day. It was a great success. 12,000 people visited the park and £3,200 was raised. Much fun was had by all and the increase in people wearing 40’s clothing was most encouraging. Thanks to Simon Roberts for organising a fantastically impressive display of military vehicles and equipment and to Amanda Wilkinson (Hales Bar) for running a vibrant and successful bar. The food stall, cake stall, stand hire and tombola were lucrative and the bandstand echoed with music throughout the day. The OMWPR had numerous visitors who gave generously.
Members of FOVG with Mayor and Mayoress
Cllr and Mrs Windass and MP Andrew Jones
Volunteer gardening has continued in support of Simon Collier and his professionals. Emphasis has been on clearing undergrowth around the OMWPR in preparation for selective tree and shrub clearance and replanting. We are exploring with Patrick Kilburn the opening up of vistas to reveal the building as a central feature to be seen from other parts of the gardens. Elsewhere, FOVG volunteers have been involved in managing the dahlia beds and the New Zealand Garden. The Britain in Bloom judges was complimentary.
Thanks to Bridget Boden for introducing us to the Yorkshire Building Society. YBS staff are allowed two paid days a year to carry out community service. Seen below are Carole Bartle and Alistair Townley from the Harrogate branch assisting HBC gardener Paula Collier ahead of Britain in Bloom judging. They said they had enjoyed the experience. Staff have promised more help, especially at Christmas.
Gardening Team with Tony Sissons
A person, to take on responsibility for Marketing and Publicity to replace Liam Clarke who has left the area. Anyone interested, please contact our chairman, Jane Blayney. Meanwhile Helen McCallum and Neil Hughes will deal with the website and Facebook and Twitter and Jane Blayney will deal with radio, TV and newspaper publications.
So far £31,000 has been raised towards our target of £60,000.
Recent Awards and Events.
19 August: HBC Arts and Heritage Award - £5,000
19 August: Pat Clarke’s Open Garden - over £600.
7 – 9 September: Heritage Open Days attracted over 300 visitors - nearly£300
13 September: “Pink Girlie Party” organised by Jenny Travena also increased funds.
This is most encouraging but we still need to explore ways of reaching the total.
25 September: President’s Gardeners Question time in the Sun Pavilion at 7.30 pm.
24 November Race Night. Further details to follow.
December, Santa’s Grotto. Further details to follow.
Presentations and Private Tours of the OMWPR Contact our chairman, Jane Blayney 01423 505231 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
FOVG is now a registered charity, number 1148369. This will help considerably because FOVG can claim Gift Aid on membership dues, attendances at events and donations, provided the payee is a UK tax payer. Please Gift Aid your membership fee and help increase funds. Contact Sue Clarke on 01423 504390.
New members are welcome both as ‘Activists’ and ‘Donors’. We do not expect everyone to wield a spade!
The OMWPR project has just been awarded a Duke of York’s Community Initiative Award – more on this soon!
Prior Newsletters (Click to Download)