“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” – J.K. Rowling
14th December 2017
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
As the weather has turned colder, it’s time to start thinking about stripey mints and overcooked sprouts, and to reflect on an amazing year in the Park.
The café will be closed after Saturday 23rd for the festive break – except for the Boxing Day swim (9-1) and New Year’s Day fireworks (1-5) – reopening as usual on Tuesday 2nd January 2018.
The gardens 2017
The garden volunteers have done an amazing job in 2017. Over £4,500 has been invested in bringing the gardens back to life, their achievements include:
• repairing the wooden pergola structures within the gardens
• installing dropped kerbs to enable access to wheel chair users
• cutting back the overhanging trees allowing more light into the garden
• replacing many of the rose plants, and investing in other plants to improve the look and feel of the space
• working with Bob Catchpole, a local artist, to install a sculpture in the gardens (now inside for the winter)
• replacing parts of the drive hedge that had died
• and keeping the gardens looking good.
Thanks also to NNDC who arranged for the restoration of the boating lake in the spring which was has given a real boost to the look of the Park around the café.
There are great plans in the wings for next year: if you would like to get involved, don’t hold back.
The café 2017
The café volunteers continue to do an amazing job, keeping the café open all year. making it a welcoming place for all to enjoy. Thanks to the volunteers and the customers, this year the café has contributed over £30,000 to the Friends, 70% of the charity’s income. Well done to all.
Our TripAdvisor ‘2017 Certificate of Excellence’ has arrived in the post and is proudly in display in the cafe.
The café is the community face and the base for the charity; we are working with NNDC to extend our time in the café to October 2018 and hope this will all be agreed early in 2018.
We want to run a range of events in the Park that are inclusive, allowing full participation from the community. Where possible events are free, but where event costs are high a nominal ticket charge is implemented.
This year over 20 events were organised, with over 3000 people taking part. From ice-skating to theatre, from music to croquet, and from pumpkins to our Easter treasure hunt, it was a great and varied year of events in the Park.
The total cost for the events was £10,457, generating £9,842 income, around 25% of our turnover.
We’re finalising a schedule of events for 2018 at the moment; let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see.
The play park
One disappointment this year was in not being able to move the play park project forward. Unfortunately, in March, as we began our pre-planning discussions we were informed that our proposal for the old bowling green wasn’t acceptable in such a heritage site, and we were directed to bring forward proposals for the upper lawn (‘over the bridge’).
Rather than rush into this we have taken time in thinking about what would be appropriate in such a space, in the context of the Park as a whole. We’re getting ready to re-launch the project in the new year. Watch this space!
To help us finalise next year’s plans – what would you like to see included? What are your priorities for the Park? And have you time to work with us and the volunteers to help make the ideas happen?
As well as ideas, we need bodies: for the cafe, the gardens, the organising team and charity trustees.
Next years AGM is in the diary for March 21st, but don’t wait until then to volunteer. Come and chat to us about what you can offer. Most of us don’t bite.
Please have a jolly Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope to see you all soon.
PS: Christmas Lights Volunteers were awarded second place in the Tesco bags awards – well done to them and special thanks to you all who voted for them with your blue tokens; this means they will received £2000 next year towards the Christmas lights in Cromer.