Alice in Wonderland

It was Boxtree production’s 4th visit to Cromer, and the audience has grown every year. A great performance of Alice in Wonderland,

Photos by Malcolm English

The Three Inch Fools - Robin Hood

Robin Hood

If you’re wondering what it’s all about, here’s the Three Inch Fools team to help out

Macbeth

Thanks to the Handlebards for an excellent production of Macbeth, and to the socially distanced audience

Photos by Malcolm English

North Lodge Park proposal

Hardstanding proposal

The Friends have been talking to NNDC for sometime about making the best community use of the former tennis courts/hardstanding, and last month submitted a nine-page proposal to improve this last major derelict area of the park to bring it back into community use.

A multi-purpose shared space could combine multi-use areas and economic activities, and might for example include a horticultural hub, with a plant growing (and selling) area; pop-up/artisan market area; general leisure activities (eg ice skating); and repurposing the old bandstand, as a community facility and possible performance space.

We are also keen to explore options for developing new public lavatory facilities as well as incorporate some play elements into the area.

We will be working with Cromer Town Council to further develop a proposal, and are interested in hearing from community groups, individuals and businesses who would like to join us.

North Lodge Park proposal
cromer plant fair

Plant Fair 5th June 2021

cromer plant fair

Hope to see you all at our Plant Fair on the 5th June, 10am – 4pm.

Unfortunately we are unable to hold our full Gardening Festival this year but we will have Stalls selling Plants, Garden Themed stalls, The Peregrine society, Cromer Green Spaces etc.

Plus food by Fat Ted’s and The Banger Box.

Our new history book will be available to purchase.

Come and plant a Sunflower for the park and have a chance of winning our Tallest Sunflower competition (or a prize for the smallest!)

new picnic benches

New picnic benches

In the last year when open space has been in demand, North Lodge Park in Cromer has really been appreciated by the community. It’s become a “go to place” to meet outside while the pandemic has changed us. The park seating has been in demand, the new benches on the upper lawn sponsored by members of the community have already become a destination for meeting up, whether to play on the slide, nets and swing or look out to sea.

Now Cromer’s Morrisons has donated two picnic benches to North Lodge Park, to provide extra seating for the community to use on the grass area next to the rose garden. “We really support the work of the Friends group in North Lodge Park and wanted to give something practical for the community to use”, said Simon Clipsom from Morrisons in Cromer, “it has been great to see the park so well used.”

Morrisons have been a regular supporter of the volunteers in the park, as well as donating plants, Morrisons sponsor the sunflower competition which this year will start at the Plant Fair on June 5th, and the October pumpkin carving event. The donation for the benches comes from the store’s glass recycling fund which supports many local causes – money raised from glass deposited in the bottle banks in the store’s car park.

The park cafe, which has been closed all through the pandemic, has reopened. Tuesday 18th May, re-opening day, also marks the 92nd birthday of the park which first opened back in 1929. Volunteers have given the outside a coat of paint ready for the summer. As the cafe restarts things will be a bit different for a while to ensure our volunteers and customers stay safe. But we aim to get back to the café we all know and love as soon as it is safe to do so.

Photo Credit: Malcolm English Photography

Spring starts to bring the park to life

It’s been a long, long year affecting everyone in one way or another.

We’ve all missed the opportunities to meet in the café and at events, and can’t wait to bring activity back to the park; as spring starts to bring the gardens to life it feels like time to start planning this summer.

The open green spaces of the park have been a real benefit during the past year as a meeting place for many people, a space of calm amongst the world of pandemic.  Seeing how well the park has been used shows how appreciated the work of our volunteers is – I’m sure you’ll join me in thanking the volunteer gardeners, some of whom carried on (at a safe distance) through lockdown

In the first lockdown we proceeded to create the new bridge and play area to open up the upper lawn. The transformation to the eastern end of the park is amazing, and it’s great to see so many people enjoying the space and hear all the positive comments. 

benches in North Lodge Park

A huge thanks goes to those of you who helped the project by sponsoring a plaque on the bridge – apologies there weren’t more available but we are looking at another opportunity for those of you who missed out (watch this space), and those who sponsored a bench on the upper lawn.

The landscaping and ground works around the project are in progress, with new beds around the bridge to soften the harsh edges.  We are working with Cromer Green Spaces to make some parts of the park more wildlife friendly. 

  • The top end of the upper lawn is being left un-mown this year to develop into a natural wildlife area; there has been no treatment to this grass for many years so we are hoping for a natural development suitable to sustain wildlife
  • The southern third of the old clock garden is being sown with fresh wildflower seeds suitable for wildlife, this area will be more of a wild flower area, with plants that support a wide variety of wildlife

All our 2020 events were cancelled last year, but we are carrying forward last year’s theatre events and planning for Macbeth in June, HMS Pinafore in July, and Alice in Wonderland in August.  Tickets for these shows will go on sale at Easter.

north lodge park cafe
We’re still getting plans together for reopening the café, which we hope to do in time for Whitsun, so sometime during the third week in May.

Opening in May isn’t ideal as it means there won’t be time to get ourselves together before the summer rush – when we first opened in 2015, we did it in August in less than two weeks from a standing start!  

We’ll need all the help we can get, so if you want to join the merry band of volunteers, now could be the time.  Email us at cafe@northlodgepark.org.uk to discuss how you can help – we’ll need café helpers and bakers.

We also need to appoint a cafe manager – if you know anyone who would like to join us and manage the cafe please ask them to get in touch.  As usual in the summer we will supplement volunteers with some seasonal helpers – if you know any students looking for a summer job, tell them to look no further!
Please stay safe in these difficult times – let’s hope the next year brings better times; as Eeyore said: It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine.