New children’s play area planned! (September 2020): Local parents often tell us they would like to see a children’s play area at the park, and this has been one of our priorities for a while. Haringey Council heard us and recently announced that they have allocated £20,000 for the purchase and installation of play equipment here at Chapman’s Green – which is great news! This will be aimed at young children specifically and will, we hope, make the Green a more welcoming place for families. Whilst £20,000 sounds like a lot, we’re told it will only allow us to purchase a limited range of equipment, so we may seek to increase this with a crowdfunder project during the Autumn.
Pavilion painting (Summer – Autumn 2020): Another lockdown activity conducive to social distancing was painting. Last summer we repainted the front of the pavilion and this year we wanted to do the rear side which overlooks the old bowling green. A break-in just before we were about to start meant that a panel of plyboard had to nailed in place, pending a full repair, so once we had done the grey undercoat we paused. Once the repairs are made we will complete the job with a green top coat, as at the front. Again, thanks go to Alex for doing the lion’s share of the work (he’s the one with the ladders and the insurance!)
‘Mini meadow’ wildflower project (April – July 2020): Lockdown put the mockers on most of our plans for Spring and Summer this year, but we did manage to plant and nurture our first ‘mini meadow’ on a 1m strip across the top of the old bowling green. Artist and expert gardener Bobby led this project, with several of the Friends helping to do the legwork. The biggest job was cutting away the turf – which made for good socially-distanced exercise – then we set about planting the wildflower seeds. Several weeks later after some initial watering they started to emerge from the soil, and by the middle of June were looking fantastic. Fewer people were out and about this summer to enjoy them, but the wildlife loved them – we saw insects that we never usually see on the Green. This was just a trial run – by next summer we hope to have the resources to do more of the same and really bring this old lawn to life.
First litter pick of the Spring (March 2020): A group of Friends turned out for our monthly litter pick, led by coordinator Cynthia. Many hands make light work and in the space of an hour we managed to fill ten bags. This month’s haul featured the usual cans, bottles, bottle tops, cigarette butts and plastic bookies’ pens, plus a hammer, a hub cap and half a bike!
Repainting Rapid Response (December 2019): A few day before the end of the year we were disappointed to see that someone had decided to use the front doors of the pavilion as a blank canvas for their graffiti. It was frustrating after all the time we had spent tidying it up in the summer, and we were concerned that if it stayed there it would attract more of the same. Friends secretary Alex did an amazing job repainting it within 2 days of it appearing. This saved the Council a job (and the price tag!) – and probably would have taken them several weeks to get sorted, so we were pleased we could deal with it quickly.
Christmas Social (December 2019): A chance for the Friends to get together and show local people inside the pavilion, which we spent the day cleaning and decorating for Christmas – complete with fairy lights outside! The old signs and foot-lockers left by the Bowls Club have scrubbed-up nicely and will remind future users of the building about its history. A big thank you to everyone who baked (and mulled) and to all our guests – including local MP Catherine West, who has been a great supporter of the Friends.
Party on The Green 2019 (July 2019): This was a fantastic day of historically-inspired fun with stalls, entertainment and costumes to mark the 400 years since Chapman’s Green was first recorded (on a map from 1619). This event was funded with help from Haringey Council, and we were grateful to local MP Catherine West for coming along to make a presentation to the Bowls Club in recognition of all their years of service to the community.
Pavilion Painting & Bench Buffing (June 2019): The Friends wanted to get the pavilion spruced up so that local people could see that something new was happening at The Green. A group of us worked across several days to prepare the walls and timbers and repaint them in a heritage colour scheme of cream and green. A special mention for our secretary Alex for putting the hours in to get it finished! And thanks to our friends at Good Gym Haringey, we’ve also been able to make a start on refurbishing the benches around the old bowling green – some of which are dedicated to former members and form an important part of the club’s legacy. Thank you Good Gym!
Halloween in The Park (October 2018): The Friends hosted an afternoon of Halloween-themed fun with stalls, face-painting and pumpkin-carving. Well done to all those who came dressed for the occasion!