From Jane Osborne:
Of course, living in quintessential England, we awoke on our organised day to find it was raining!!! Frantic telephone calls between committee members commenced with the cry of “shall we go ahead?” Eventually at 9.30 am, having trawled the internet for weather forecasts, we decided to put our faith in the promise of “fine by lunch”.
However, at the agreed starting time, ready for the Health and Safety briefing, there was still just us! So we decided we were clothed for the showers, ready for the work and forged ahead ourselves. Like the nursery rhyme “Incy Wincy Spider”, the rain stopped, the people came out in force and day one began.
Saturday 19th February
Four of our Parish Councillors, together with their families, were down the park along with many other volunteers, some of whom came for a few hours, others all day. Although the work was back breaking, the community spirit was tangible!
The wood from the hedge at the front of the park that had been removed, was then salvaged into sticks and logs and these were taken down to the woodland area in order that children from the Forest School enterprise could utilise them to make “creations“ and “beastie homes“ .
A smaller group concentrated on removing the vegetation from the chain link fencing and then volunteers took this to the local recycling centre.
Tea, coffee and biscuits were on offer in the local café (AKA committee members garage) but it did the trick, tables were set out and helpers could take a breather.
Bird and bat boxes that had been made by prisoners and donated by Northamptonshire County Council were ready to put up in preparation and the decking material for the dipping platform at the pond was available for people to view and choose. An overwhelming majority preferred the “vintage weathered oak” type.
Sunday 20th February
The weather was more than kind. Helpers from the previous day, clearly having had their “Radox” bath the night before turned out in force, – along with some new faces. The café was busy and things looked good.
The concrete under the bench was smashed, the toddler springer was dug out and we quickly got to a position where the only thing left to do was to start the bonfire.
Two separate areas were identified for the bonfire site and all volunteers moved the debris to one or the other. Whilst one site had many ‘Ray Mears’ trying to get the bonfire started, the other, much smaller, site had two diligent and methodical workers.
It would be unfair to mention here the amount of painstaking hours it took to get the bonfire alight, but when it was in full force, boy could it give any volcanic lava a run for its money on the sheer force, power and heat it eventually gave off.
If we were giving a ‘boy scout’ medal for perseverance and dedication, it would have to go to our local “Bear Grylls” (AKA Councillor Andrew Waite).
Many, many, many thanks and huge appreciation to all those who helped over this weekend along with those who had previously and subsequently helped out in the park getting it ready for the contractors to move in.
What a village community! It really makes you glad to live and be a part of Sulgrave Village.
Work in progress ‘blog’ to follow.