Future looks bright for Page Park as fountain is restored
Published on: 01 Feb 2018
2018 will be another busy year for the Friends of Page Park, with renovation work continuing following the successful lottery windfall.
Already the Friends have been planting to ensure the park is a riot of colour come the summer and work on the perimeter walls is expected to start at the end of the month or beginning of March and will take several months.
The hedges will be cut down along South View for access and all the perimeter walls will be restored to their former glory.
"All the walls are safe," said Steph Purser, vice chair of the Friends.
"However some have stone work missing and others are damaged so it's just a case of getting someone in to put them back together again. It's about making the park secure as well as looking like it used to. We will then be looking at restoring the gates and the railings."
Work is continuing on the historic drinking fountain and a new water supply pipe has been put in place.
Eventually it will be restored to full working order complete with a plaque and dome, which have been missing for many years. Money for the restoration has come from Churngold and the Drinking Fountain Fund.
Steph said: "The drinking fountain was given to the park by the people of Staple Hill and Mangotsfield as an acknowledgement of Alderman William Page giving the park to the people. There was a plaque on there stating this but it was stolen. A new plaque will replace it once work on the fountain has finished.
"When the fountain was originally put in it had a dome on the top of it which has been missing for many years but it will now be replaced."
The Friends have recently been awarded £20,000 from the Postcode Local Trust which will be spent on setting up a compost and recycling area by the old air raid shelter at the corner of Park Road and South View.
"We have over 200 trees in the park and when the leaves shed we end up having to take them off-site. At the moment we don't actually use what we have, which is a waste. If we produce more compost than the park needs, we may be able to sell it to the community to raise funds. The project is all about making the park self-sufficient in nutrients for the trees and plants. We have the money which means the project can be rolled out over the next few months."
In March, South Gloucestershire Council will start to resurface the paths, making them easier and safer for people with disabilities to use.
Sadly, there are further problems will the Clocktower and its chimes which means further work will need to be carried out.
"The bells were going for a short time but decided to give up the ghost a few weeks ago," Steph said.
"The Clocktower is 107 years old and although the clock works are very robust, the wires going up to the bells are very delicate. The clock specialists from Cumbria will come back down so it can be restored to full working order."
Since January the old toilet block has closed and discussions are ongoing about its future use.
An accessible outside toilet is now available outside the Nest overlooking the cricket pitch as well as two toilets in the cafe.
Meanwhile, South Gloucestershire Council is looking for a full-time park coordinator to look after the 19 acre site and bring it up to Green Park status. It also involves setting up volunteer groups to help out. The role is funded for three years.
"We want someone to come along and have the same passion for Page Park as we do," said Steph.
"There will still be building work going on as we are in the last year of the Heritage Lottery funding so we have a lot of work we need to finish by the end of the year. It should however look a lot different in the summer and we have lots of new plants to make it really colourful but we still have an awful lot to do."
Coming up in Page Park
Saturday March 3: Seed Swap 10am-noon
Anyone with seeds and bulbs can come along and swap them with others as well as talk about gardening and plants.
Saturday March 10: The Big Tidy Up 9am-1pm
The Friends are looking for volunteers to come along and help tidy the park ready for spring and summer.
Saturday June 16: Summer In The Park 11am-5pm
Visitors can come along with picnics and enjoy entertainment.
The Friends are looking for bands to perform and stall holders
Anyone interested in The Big Tidy Up and Summer In The Park can get in touch with the Friends via the website www.friendsofpagepark.co.uk