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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Spring a little closer



More signs of spring as lots of robins about the trees being blown over have brought more birds to the park as the wood contains insects etc and the birds have moved in to cleanup.


Some of the trees and Bushes are starting to flower as spring gets underway

ANTs and SW

The Queens Park ANTs (Actions Not Talk) volunteers met last weekend to continue the winter clear-up and greet new members.

The event was billed as a “Drop-In” session where potential new volunteers could see what goes on and ask questions about the on-going projects around the park, and numbers were boosted by members of the Sydney Arms Slimming World Group.

Sheila Cotton, SW group leader, said: ‘Getting involved with the ANTs was perfect as part of our Body Magic programme. Members are encouraged to be more active at home and in the community, so helping out at Queens Park was great exercise and everyone benefits.’

The ANTs are an informal group that meet monthly and new volunteers are welcome to spend just an hour, or as long as they can spare. The work is light and easy-going, but a great fun way to burn off a few post-Christmas pounds. Gloves, hi-vis jackets and basic tools are supplied.

Please contact for further details about the next session.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The week the Wind Blew


The side effects of the bad weather is the wildlife coming in for some shelter like the Goosanders above we had four on the lake this week along with 4 grebe then the next day they have gone


The wigeon above  is a medium-sized duck with a round head and small bill. The head and neck of the male are chestnut, with a yellow forehead, pink breast and grey body. In flight birds show white bellies and males have a large white wing patch. Birds breed in central and northern Scotland and also in northern England. Many birds visit the UK in winter from Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia. With large numbers of wintering birds at a few UK sites it is an Amber List species.
Latin name

Anas penelope


Swans, ducks and geese (Anatidae)

Where to see them

Large numbers winter on the coast. A great place to see thousands together is on the RSPB Ouse Washes nature reserve in Cambridgeshire.

When to see them

All year round.

What they eat

Aquatic plants, grasses, roots.


The wind took its toll all over Crewe but lots of trees suffered in and around the park above a big tree on Tipkinder car park 


One blocking the bridge by Coronation walk


This one by the cafe luck it wasnt any bigger or it would have hit the cafe


By Tipkinder end the one tree was badly hit butt other in the area lost lots of branches each tree that falls means other trees are in danger of wind damage. a very large tree came down by the golf coarse end of the lake

Monday, February 10, 2014

WE now pay for restoration of restoration

    Friends of Queens Park

Minutes - Monday 27th January 2014

Lakeside Pavilion 6pm


Derek Morgan

Joanna Clewes

Leanne Haythornthwaite

Sheila Blackburn

Derek Halfpenny

Kirsty Taylor

Joan Dickinson

Diane Scoffin

Myra Curran

Elaine Dodd

Chris Curran

Karen Crosse

Charlie Griffies

S Curran


Lisa Prime

Eric Buckley


Daniel Prime

Howard Curran


Roy Prince

Ian Henry


You will see that those who turn up for the meeting are people who very rarely come to the park and are not representing the people who visit daily as such the value of is this group to users of the park is Zero until we get people who actual attend on a regular basis we will do know good

1 Apologies were noted

2 Minutes of the previous meeting were approved

3 Matters arising – none

  • Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of CEC Council, had emailed Elaine Dodd to express his appreciation and wishes to the Friends and congratulate the ANTs on their on-going support and enthusiasm
  • Former Mayor, Ray Stafford MBE, had specifically rang also asking her to pass on his appreciation to all involved in the project so far and the progress made.

4 Confirmation of Member Structure / outstanding placement of posts:

  • Angling Representative: Ian Henry was nominated, seconded , vote motioned and carried.
  • Media Representative: No nominations received. This post is to be held in abeyance.
  • Youth / Education Representative: Ben Wye is unable to confirm his candidature at present. This post is to be held in abeyance.
  • Fund Raising Officer: Kirsty Taylor was nominated, seconded , vote motioned and carried.

5 Chairman’s Report and Update

Derek Morgan welcomed all attendees.

5.1 Works in progress

Small works packages are underway:

Designs and specification for mini-tender purposes are shortly to go to specialist Heritage Contractors via Assets. The works are for:

West Lodge: possible renewal of a section of the main horizontal load-bearing timber beam to the rear elevation. Carving of bespoke wordage on the new beam is required and may need to be carried out off-site and then installed once prepared.

Main Entrance: Rails and gate are to be repaired. Ornate features to be recreated where needed as broken. Curbed rails are to be repaired

Entrance areas East, West, South Gates: Crest plaques are to be installed. The base plates are already on the gates in readiness. (A copy of the design was available for attendees to view).

Bowls Pavilion : Installation of rainwater goods to Front Elevation –  this is required for Building Regulation Approval

Gulf War memorial – the base went in last week. The monument is now back or return is imminent.

Electrical works in Lakeside Pavilion, East and West Lodges for building regulations – works are mainly to the toilet (disabled provision) and kitchen venting.

5.2 Planning and possibly listed building consent will be required for the package of works Assets are also currently collating a package for:

Boer War Memorial

Work to clean off kerbs, and posts, 24 new post fixings, re-fix, supply and install new chains and eyelets, inner plinths to be cleaned

Clock Tower

Damaged sandstone ball to be replaced

Plaque to be cleaned and wording picked-out.

Games pavilion

Engineer to inspect structure due to movement in wooded frame and cladding. Same engineer to report on Lakeside Pavilion veranda re non-slip strips.

For all of the above we are anticipating at least £29K worth of investment.

It would seem we are now paying to restore the restoration? How on earth can we pay for thing like the cafe and pavilion to be brought up to building regulation standard when they are new how did all these things get passed and paid for if they arnt right? If you buy a kettle you get a 2 year guarantee so you would expect a longer one for over 1.5 million pound cafe.

Many of the items above only require a handy man to fix them but in will go to tender and with admin cost £1000 which could be done for  a £10 from B&Q

5.3 Footpaths

Design Issues

This phase of works needs to comply with the original HLF funded submission. Design brief/standard details will need to have approval and are currently underway, this will encompass -

1. DDA compliance, or as close as practical, to be achieved to all areas of the park.

2. Restoration of path network around the north of the park.

3. Restoration of southern paths (to the rear of the lake)

4. Support vehicular access improvements around park

5. Undertake hard and soft general landscape works required in relation to path works

· Identify / cost the surface finish options

· Provide a consistent edge detail to pathways.

· Complete granite edge to main primary route.

- Include sections of concrete kerb repair/infill.

- Include sections of limestone kerb repair/infill.

- Remove crazy paving only on paths to be restored.

- (Coronation Valley route not included in works)

· Additionally DDA ramp to one bandstand (Southern Shelter) is requested.

· Any drainage issues to be identified.

· Stabilisation of bank to south west boundary. Allow for use of large sandstone rocks & soil infill.

· Additional bays for seating to be included where appropriate.

· In some areas roots may be a problem, consultation with tree officer is required. Some invasive seedling ash/sycamore/bamboo could be removed as part of the path restoration.

· Approvals for funding have passed the first stage and we are hopeful of full Council approval with an early start to works this Spring.

5.4 CCTV

Elaine Dodd has liaised with English Heritage and CEC Conservation Officer, who both have posed no objection to the columns and their locations. She has completed a Planning application which was despatched a fortnight ago with advice received from the CCTV Controller’s team. Approval time is anticipated 12-15 weeks. In the meantime preparation works can continue re BT licences, ducting and cabling works, external equipment housing. The purchase of equipment is around £25K in total for 2 fully functional black 'predator' cameras (360 Vision Technology) that will pan 360 degrees and tilt of 180 degrees.

CCTV is no good if there is no one to enforce it

5.5 Lakeside Pavilion

Elaine is working closely with the Pickle Jar to assist in marketing the facilities. Ideas to date include:

A Wedding Information Pack – She has prepared some draft designs to keep costs down for them, including the idea of Inserts make the pack flexible.

Plus an idea, to introduce a PRINCE and PRINCESSES Club. A modest membership fee would apply; when joining, each child would receive a membership card and gift. Prior to their birthday each year, they would receive notification about children’s parties in the pavilion, encouraging parents to have “the mess here and not at home”, then a birthday card with offer of a free ice cream or similar. It is envisaged that the child would bring along friends and guardians so the scheme would also generate some purchases . Collection of addresses and emails is an issue as someone needs to keep on top of applications and dispatch information. Resultant data could also be utilised on a database for other forms of ‘relationship marketing’.

5.6 Boating on the Lake – plans are underway to re-introduce this. A contractor has looked at the area and is developing plans for a landing stage, together with tidying of perimeter. Works to fencing, steps etc will be separate. The Pickle Jar’s bank are ascertaining details about how other areas operate and this will assist with Risk Assessments and Insurance issues.


The boats were on the lake this week as a trial apparently they can only go as far as the bridge so they dont disturb the fishermen we wouldn't want to do that would we. How many people will pay just to paddle around one island is open to debate. What is clear is there is conflict with wildlife straight away as most of the ducks etc stay at the top end and nest will be disturbed and wildlife frightened by these boats. Its show the CEC have no respect for any wildlife

5.7 Memorial Benches

Three new benches have been purchased by families, including one for Lindsay Capper one of the Park Wardens who sadly passed away. Elaine Dodd is to escort Lindsay’s mother to view the bench located next to the bowling green. Hopefully, her photograph and a press story will create more enquires. A summary information sheet is available and the Cemetery are kindly adding this insert into their bereavement packs.

5.8 There is some external funding support from Highways for Cycle Racks to complement the adjacent cycleway. Some improvement works to the entry to the cycleway at TipKinder is also planned of installation in March.

5.9 Burma Star Island

A sponsorship package has been sent out to ‘The Round Table’ for their kind consideration, following a meeting last year with the ANTs and Elaine . The Round Table held a meeting last week so we await their support concerning this project with interest. The Friends have already committed funding raising toward this project and residual monies will have to be made up from either existing Ground Maintence Budgets or a grant application to WREN, or a mixture of the two. Plans are also be revisited and updated and will be presented at the next meeting.

It was stressed that the Friends have not specified an exact amount to be used from their funds but will commit an agreed sum as previously voted to support this scheme. An estimated project figure of £12-15K has been calculated, this is to be discussed at a future meeting.

5.10 The CEC Queens Park Website Elaine Dodd has recently been updated re Works in Progress, Benches, Angling and Events Calendar.

Friends of Queens Park Website: Sheila Blackburn (Secretary) has suggested that the group has its own web site. Secretary is to write to a web-site designer, known to CEC, to invite him to discuss issues at the next Friends meeting in March. Kristy Taylor, ANT’s, is also very knowledge in this regard and specialises at work in IT so is able to assist.

6 Events Diary to date

Last year we probably saw more community type events here than in the previous 20 years. The draft programme to-date is available and is to be posted on notice boards in the Park. The UK triathlon, Orienteering Society and Education are yet to confirm any dates and requirements. We only at the end of January and already usage is already looking good.

7 Queen’s Park Angling Review

Permit visuals were made available for attendees to see – the artwork is very profession and thanks were made to the Elaine Dodd. All indications are that the Angling Initiative has been very successful to date and many appreciative comments have been received from users and local Clubs.

Ian Henry reported that there are 27 temporary, trial pegs set out so far and plans to create 3 disabled pegs with access. One of the pegs has already been identified to be re-sited. Membership has been set at £5 per year or £3 for a day ticket. There are no fees for under 16s. There is already a membership of 70.

The group wants to promote active and responsible youth involvement through negotiations for a coaching day with Stapeley Angling and through liaison with the Police. Hopefully, the group will be able to set up a member data base in the future.


The report that the fishing is all going good is a total lie you only need to look back over the last few weeks to see photographic evidence of illegal activities and problems. Another report from a dog owner this week of his dog being caught up in discarded fishing line. Above we watched as the angler who are supposed to be responsible cast time and time again with in inchs of the swans. Any good angler would bring his rod in and wait for the swans to move and not endanger them. Whats going to happen when its nice and the kids come out and others if they cant control it now they will never control it. It going to be hell and a safety nightmare  in the summer and someone will be hurt. For the friends and CEC to tell lies that its all ok isnt helping action is needed its just as bad as it was before. Below fishing under the bridge off the pegs casting near ducks were are the bailiffs?


8 ANTs Review

8.1 Chris Curran presented a report, beginning with the latest day of action happening the day before the meeting, when 21 volunteers braved the weather to work outside, tidying specific areas, whilst others worked inside to refurbish benches and clean windows.

The ANTs have plans for the Community Garden to the rear of the East Lodge: they are to initiate a design competition in a local Primary School, inviting garden designs from pupils in 13 classes. The overall winner will receive an award and the winning design is to be presented to garden planners at (eg) Reaseheath College so that the design can be realised and pupils can be involved in the very first “digging”. It was also agreed that prizes for winners from each class should be provided.

This project is seen as a valuable way to involve children in the voluntary workforce and to encourage responsible use of the Park.

8.2 The ANTs are also hoping to establish a group of volunteers who can come to work in the Park outside the recognised Action Days. This is based on a scheme at Birkenhead Park that now has a regular force of 80 volunteers, especially retired people who would like to be involved. The ANTs are looking to establish this activity with a signing in scheme and small tool storage.

8.3 The 23rd February is the next ANTs Day of Action when volunteers will be joined by members of Slimming World as part of their Body Magic Programme.


9.1 Dogs in the Park: Joanne Clewes gave a detailed account of how she was walking her dog on a lead in the Park recently and was set upon by a large dog that was not under control. The owner of the dog is known to the group. The police and Elaine Dodd were informed and visited. The Dog Wardens and PCSOs are to talk to the owner about maintaining a dog under control in the Park.

During detailed discussion, it was pointed out that the ‘Dog Control Order’ is being revisited and is to be updated, however, the Council is looking for a wide order to cover several parks and this could take some time. It was agreed that the Secretary should write to George Broughton asking for the matter to be given more urgent consideration in view of recent dog-related incidents.

The above is not a true account of what happened. The dog which has visited the park every day from a small puppy and is know to everyone as a friendly puppy pulled off the lead and went to play when this women's vicious staffy attacked it and had it by the throat. The dog being a puppy thought it was a game and just wanted to play. As an Alaskan Malamute when full grown can bring down a polar bear if he had attacked it then it wouldnt be alive. This women then started a cyber bullying campaign on the Face book Group and several members joined in this nasty bulling and issuing threats of violence to a 67 year old man they have all now been reported for these offences but the  admins of the site took no action. People are very brave sat behind a pc threatening an OAP but not so brave faced with 9 st of Malamute. What this women didnt point out was there in fact 3 witness to the incident.

9.2 Structure Changes: Derek Morgan introduced initial proposals for the new Parks structure and expressed his concerns, especially in view of the loss of Park Wardens. It is uncertain what will happen to the role of Park Manager. The group would be most concerned if her support was diluted further in any way and Derek assured the meeting that he would not hesitate to write to relevant personnel if there are any developments. Howard Curran pointed out the CE are losing staff and that it is hard to do anything until possible outcomes are known. It was stressed again, that the post of Park Manager should not be diluted in any way.

9.3 Improvements

Thanks were passed on for the new, privately purchased bench, sited close to the west gate and bandstand – this is much appreciated by daily dog walkers and visitors to the Park.

9.4 It was also confirmed that two new notice boards are to be installed this week along the main drive and by the Tipkinder entrance. The board formerly at the front gate is to be relocated at the south gate (Moreton Road).

9.5 In response to a question about the old depot and any developments about its demolition and use of the land, Charlie Griffies replied that there is no further information. He was also able to confirm funding procedures for the footpaths. Howard Curran asked about the steps from the Burma Star Island bridge to the south gate and was assured that improved access through gentler gradients is part of the footpath plans.

9.6 Power Boats on the lake: in response to concerns about the use of large, remote controlled boats on the lake, Elaine Dodd agreed to request guidance from George Broughton. There was a lot of discussion about the impact on wildlife and any contamination and it was suggested that incidents are logged for future reference.

10.0 Dates of Friends Meeting 2014:

Tuesday March 11th

Friends Group Meeting: 6pm in Lakeside Pavilion

Monday 12th May

Friends Group Meeting: 6pm in Lakeside Pavilion

Further meetings to be announced planned around events programme.

Monday, February 3, 2014

New Notice Boards


This week two new notice boards have been erected one at Tipkinder and one at the main entrance. They only appear to have bolts on no locks given the other board have been smashed time and time again and they had locks how long will these last?


Spring is showing its head as the periwinkle come into flower. Vincas, commonly known as periwinkles, normally have green leaves and single flowers in either purple, blue, pink or white. However there are double-flowered forms and variegated forms too so the choice is wide, although they all send out runners. The Lesser Periwinkle, Vinca minor, offers the greatest choice of colours and flower type.