Wednesday 29th September
There were nine of us today, a good turnout for a Wednesday, and the intention was to prepare for Saturday’s Project Entrance Revival. Lloyd sharpened and oiled loppers, hedge cutters and secateurs while George dipped them in diluted bleach to prevent any cross contamination (interesting combo of names Lloyd and George). Ann painted the kitchen cupboard door (well overdue) so it matched the fridge she’d recently donated; it has certainly enhanced the kitchen. Sarah and Jan marked all our tools in yellow fluorescent tape and then strung the largest ribbons around the secateurs so they wouldn’t get lost again. Meanwhile Linda made a start on the spring bulb planting while Graham continued to restore a park bench we’ve been donated – he had an extra spring in his step as he’s sourced some oak timbers to make the finished seat look really special.
Saturday 2nd October
It was Project Entrance Revival masterminded by Stefan. We have had a build up to this day and had been planning it for a month. The big idea was to move our activities further down the promenade and improve some of the entrances which are in a terrible state. Rain was forecast but this didn’t stop the twelve volunteers who weren’t going to be put off by some precipitation. Stefan, Malcolm and Linda were there before everyone else and their hedge trimmers couldn’t cut faster as they beat the impending rain storm. I went down the far end of the promenade with Michael and we tackled a yew tree badly overhanging the promenade; it was weighed down with a massive growth of ivy and an infestation of wasps so we had to prune judiciously. Meanwhile Phil, Karim, Jan and Jenny were busy clearing undergrowth and pruning many bay bushes – areas that had not been touched for years and they even discovered an unused water drainage gulley. The rain came in towards the end of the session but so much had been achieved during the morning. Many compliments from passing promenaders. The Prom is slowly getting its mojo back.
Wednesday 6th October
A terrible storm two nights earlier meant that part of the pocket park paths had been washed away by rain and some of the manholes had exploded with back syphoned water, including the one in our tool shed (luckily no damage to tools). So it was clear up day today and Lloyd came to the rescue sweeping much storm detritus off the promenade. I continued clearing one of the prom entrances with Jacqui and then discovered about twenty discarded cans lodged in the bushes behind a bench that had been incarcerated with so much greenery it couldn’t be sat on. Linda, our recycling queen, was quick to sort the offending litter. Val planted a variety of white spring bulbs around the cherry outside the park while Stefan and Karim continued with more bush pruning and planting up donated blue agapanthus which will look the business next summer. The prom has some lovely bushes which have been obscured for too long and one example was a beautiful red weigela that Stefan revived by replanting and judiciously pruning it. I’m hoping to obtain funding for restoring one of the entrances as the cracked paving slabs and utilitarian handrail look dreadful; they certainly don’t welcome visitors to the promenade.