The Creation of the Pocket Park Pond in 1996

Location of Pond

Poster advertising the construction day.

George Metcalfe writes:

In earlier days the County Council was able to employ a full-time Pocket Parks Officer, Sue Paice, and it was thanks to her support that we were able to carry out this project. She contacted Northamptonshire ACRE, based at Hunsbury Hill, and it was this organisation which covered the costs, the main items being the large butyl pond liner and the fencing to separate the pond from the rest of the Pocket Park.

It was important that this work should be essentially a community project, to involve as many villagers as possible, and so everyone (including children) was invited to come along and give a hand on the day. Some preparatory work, with a mechanical digger, was done on the previous day by Julian Gascoigne and Dick Wills (who later constructed the fencing).

Dick Wills and Julian Gascoigne carry out preparatory work on the previous day.


On the big day, Sunday 12th May 1996, work started at 9.30, and a sizeable group of volunteers completed the digging out and shaping of the pond.

Digging and shaping the pond.


11.30. The next stage was to check carefully the old carpets which were to form the underlay for the liner, making sure that any remaining carpet tacks were removed. The carpets were then laid in place.

Checking for carpet tacks.


Laying the old carpet underlay (1).


Laying the old carpet underlay (2)


12.30. The butyl liner, in its turn, was then carried over and positioned.

Carrying over the butyl liner…….


……dragging it into place…….


…..and finalizing its position.


1.30 pm. Lunch break.

Well earned lunch break.


It had originally been intended that the pond would be filled by water from the nearby stream, but as the big day drew near, it became clear that the small flow from the stream would be insufficient to fill the pond quickly enough. So an appeal was made to the Brackley Fire Service, who were good enough to agree to use the occasion as a practice turnout.

Arrival of the Fire Service


2.30. The firemen appeared promptly on time, and very quickly the pond was filled. The children in particular enjoyed this part of the operation!

Filling the pond


3.00. The edges of the liner were now covered over with soil or turf to produce a more natural effect, and the pond and verges were planted up with suitable wild flowers. Again, the children were eager to play their part.

Covering the edges…..


…..and planting wild flowers.


4.00 pm. The pond had been created!

Job done!

A very happy and satisfactory day’s work.

George Metcalfe (Sulgrave Pocket Park Warden 1986 – 2003)


Editor: Photos were taken by George, who also took the following additional ones in the Pocket Park in 1998:


Children’s Sports (1)


Children’s Sports (2)


George in the centre of the bottom row (photo by ?)


Play equipment in the Pocket Park constructed by Dick Wills and paid for by the Young Parents’ money making efforts 1997


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