Something to celebrate

Park project to provide inclusive link goes ahead

With your tremendous support we have been busy fund raising to provide inclusive access to the Upper Lawn and improve the play facilities in the Park. I am pleased to report that on 1 June 2020 work will commence to install the fully accessible ‘playful bridge’ linking the two sections of the park divided by the sunken walkway.

We thought long and hard about whether to go ahead with this project in the current unprecedented times. After much deliberation, and with support from NNDC, it was decided to go ahead – so when the bridge is finished and we emerge from the other side of this pandemic Cromer will have something to celebrate.

Inevitably it has taken time to research, develop and get approval for such an ambitious scheme, but the funding was finally in place just as the country locked down.

You rose magnificently to the challenge of helping the project financially by sponsoring a plank. Although successful grant applications contributed over £80,000 towards the project, with a significant contribution from Cromer Town Council and the Government Pocket Parks fund, most of the funding has come from the community, with a major contribution (£90,000) from café takings thanks to our customers, volunteer staff and bakers.

There was a fantastic response to our funding appeals, with over £25,000 raised from individual plaques for sponsored planks on the bridge, and from sales of our books of café cake recipes (Will You Marry Me?) and the Brief History of the Park.

Some of the periphery works – such as benches – are being delayed and still need funding: there’s still time to sponsor a plank or buy one of the books – see northlodgepark.org.uk for full details – to help complete the project.

With the current restrictions in place, we can’t be definitive on dates, it depends how much the suppliers are impacted over the coming weeks. But the contractor, Modern Method Construction Ltd will commence on June 1st, although some of the play equipment and landscaping outside the main contractors’ remit will be implemented later.

The new zig-zag wooden bridge will allow explorers of all ages and abilities to easily access the new play area which will include a range of new play equipment as well as areas of wild flowers and pathways to open up access to the cliff top path. The bridge itself will include some elements of play and will take approx. 6 weeks to construct. During this time the sunken walkway will be closed to the public with diversion notices in place.

New Park Benches

This summer the main project to replace the bridge linking the Upper Lawn to the park will be implemented. The next phase will be to landscape the Upper lawn and to put in benches so you can sit and enjoy the space with it’s wonderful views.

As part of the bridge public appeal, many of you expressed an interest in other sponsorship opportunities, such as sponsoring a bench.

We will be opening up the chance for sponsoring a bench in the next few weeks; if you would like to be given the chance please leave you details below and we will get back to you with the details over the summer.

Inspired baking in the lockdown

It seems that baking cakes has become a very popular lock-down activity with supermarket shelves quickly stripped of flour and icing sugar which made us wonder how many of you have been baking from our Cook Book?

One of our youngest fans has been in touch – Freddie from Harlow in Essex who was bought a copy of Will you Marry Me by his visiting Grandma, Liz, for his 14th birthday last September. She says that he has always loved helping her with baking but our Cook Book has really fired his interest because it’s so easy to use and has lovely tempting photos!

Coconut and Raspberry Cake

And Freddie has enjoyed some immediate success too as his first attempt at a Coconut and Raspberry Cake resulted in him gaining the highest marks at school in his Food Technology pre-GCSE course. He says he has cooked several more since being locked-in – another Jam and Coconut sponge for his other grandparents and a Chocolate and Orange Drizzle birthday surprise for his mum plus gluten free Raspberry Bakewell and Lime and Blueberry Drizzle for a very grateful Uncle who usually misses out on sweet treats with his allergy. Now he says he is planning to cook something that he really fancies trying – giant Sausage Rolls!

Shops might be shut but our Cook Book is easily obtained on-line so if you haven’t got a copy yet we still have a few left. A lovely gift for idle hands during this enforced home staycation!

AGM 2020 CANCELLED

AGM “moved online”

Rapidly changing developments have led us to cancel this year’s AGM scheduled for next week.  This is disappointing on many levels, one being the opportunity to get together to share the highs and lows of the last year, discuss plans for this year and to give you the chance to ask questions.

To retain some of these benefits, next week we will issue a newsletter summarising the things we would have discussed at the AGM.  If there is anything you would like to see included, or  if there are questions you would have raised at the AGM please email them to friends@northlodgepark.org.uk by the weekend and we will endeavour to include answers in the AGM newsletter.

Where have we got to?

Our Playful Connection is nearly there

When we launched the public appeal last April to sponsor planks on the proposed new bridge in North Lodge Park we were quite overwhelmed with your response –  raising over £20,000 towards the project. Brilliant. Since then we have been busy finalising the design, getting the necessary permissions in place, and working with potential suppliers. Plus, of course, essential fundraising …and with two major recent grant successes we’re almost there!

We couldn’t have got this far without your support and confidence.

THANK-YOU for being part of this unique community project.

We hope to begin building the new bridge in May 2020 but just need your help one last time to get us over the starting line. Whilst you are one of over 200 people who have dug deep to sponsor a plank – there are many more people who have been putting off taking the plunge until they were more confident the project was really going to happen. You may well have friends, neighbours or colleagues or know businesses who have delayed making a pledge and committing to the project. Please can you help us by spreading the word? Not only do we need their sponsorship help but we want to ensure that everyone who loves Cromer and North Lodge Park has the opportunity to be part of the project to bring life back to this very special place.

find a heart in the park

Half Term Hearts

Starting on Friday for Half Term – find a heart stone in the park and exchange it for a free heart biscuit in the cafe

Each day one lucky person who finds the special Jack Valentine stone will get a free hot drink and cake.

north lodge park cromer gardening festival 2020

Cromer Gardening Festival May 16th 2020

north lodge park cromer gardening festival 2020

In 2018 we launched a new event to the Cromer calendar as an addition to the popular Crab and Lobster Festival:the CROMER GARDENING FESTIVAL. This festival fringe event, built on the enormous success of the Crab and Lobster Festival, providing the thousands of visitors with an extra focus during the weekend. In 2019 we repeated the successful event, growing the range of attractions across the day, linking with the 90th birthday of the Park.

This May, 2020, we are hosting the 3rd GARDENING FESTIVAL on Saturday May 16th there will be more fun across the park, making the day a much bigger event.

If you would like to take part in this exciting festival please get in touch with your proposals for the day. We are looking for creative ideas around the gardening theme to make the day really special.

If you would like a stall to sell products, these are available under the same terms as the main Crab and Lobster festival, but with discounts for booking early:

  • Standard 3m x 3m £35, book by the middle of February for only £30
  • Double 6m x 4m £60, book by the middle of February for only £50
  • Large 10m x 5m £100, book by the middle of February for only £80

EARLY BIRD OFFER EXTENDED TO END OF FEBRUARY

You can book using the attached booking form, or complete the form below and payonline with paypal

Please get in touch should you need more information: friends@northlodgepark.org.uk

happy new year

Happy New Year – 2020

A HUGE HUGE thanks to all of you who supported us over the last year – whether it’s helping in the cafe and gardens, supporting the events, supporting the cafe, sponsoring a plank – the Park really benefits from your contributions. 

What a year 2019 was: we hosted over 20 events across the year, from ice skating to theatre, brass bands to dragons, a breakfast special to afternoon teas. 

Shortlisting for the EDP Norfolk Best Coffee/Tea Shop Award was a real surprise and a credit to all the volunteers who work so hard keeping the cafe such a special place.  All our TripAdviser reviews in 2019 were very good or better which is amazing! 

The gardens have continued to flourish thanks to the hard work of the volunteers.  The rose garden is starting to mature following the major restoration works the gardeners have achieved, and other borders adding colour to the Park.

We are really pleased with the support you have given to the Playful Connection project – the plank appeal has raised over £20,000 towards the project and we know some of you are still looking for the right phrase for your plank – we need another 50 planks sponsored to reach our target so please don’t wait too much longer as we want to start the build this Spring.

The two books we published last year, the Chronicles of North Lodge Park and the Cafe Cook Book,  received great reviews, including Book of the Month, and have sold really well with all profits going towards the Playful Connection project.

New Year Opportunities

If you’re looking for something new for 2020 why not come and join us.  We’ve always got space for new volunteers so please don’t hold back – it’s 2020!  Come and talk to us about where you can contribute and join the great team of volunteers we have.  Send an email (hello@northlodgepark.org.uk) or pop into the cafe to have a chat.

We issued tender documents at the end of last year to several potential construction companies and should be in a position to appoint a contractor and start digging to start the Playful Connection project this Spring.  However, we do need to raise a bit more money so if you haven’t already sponsored a plank please pop over to the website or pop into the cafe for a sponsorship form.  If you’d like to discuss other sponsorship opportunities please get in touch  (hello@northlodgepark.org.uk) – we can help put your business on the map.

What’s planned for 2020?The major event for 2020 will be implementing the Playful Connection project.  But there is lots more planned including:

  • Gardening Festival in May
  • Stuff of Dreams Theatre Company with some Shakespeare in the Park (Twelfth Night) in June
  • Illyria theatre with  Gilbert and Sullivan (HMS Pinafore) in July
  • Boxtree Productions with Alice in Wonderland in August

More details on these and other events when they are confirmed.  And don’t forget the cafe which is open all year Tuesday to Sunday (closed Mondays) 10am to 4pm.  Come and join the many regulars who help make it a special place.

Christmas Tree in North Lodge Park

Christmas in the Park

The park cafe will be open as usual in December upto Sunday 22nd, following which our volunteers will be having a well earned break. We’ll be back on New Year’s Day.

Christmas Tree in North Lodge Park
Photo: Malcolm English
coop members contribution to NLP

Co-op Members Fund

Friends of North Lodge Park were one of this year’s local causes, and through their members contributions we have received over £1700. many thanks to the co-op and its members.

Coop members fund contribution to North Lodge Park