Activities in 2006

December 2006
In December we again helped to organise the Christmas Festival in the Park and had specific responsibility for arranging and finding funding for the entertainments and advertising.  This year we managed to get the Deepcar Brass Band (pictured below), the Jubal Choir, Steel City Sax, Dave Panther, Art-in-the-Park and Groundwork Sheffield.  We also helped Santa with his Grotto – as we had done last year.  The number of stalls and stallholders was greater this year than in 2005 and we had the opportunity to use the new Pavilion.  This was used for some of the entertainments as well as having the Bowls Club doing sterling work providing teas and coffees.  The SCC Rangers consulted on proposed developments to the Coach House, courtyard and Walled  Garden.

The only disadvantage was the weather – which turned out to be wet and windy for the majority of the day.  This reduced the number of people who attended to around 1000 to 1500 – some 500 less than last year when the weather was glorious.  There was a steady flow of visitors from 11.00 a.m. but by about 3.00 p.m. those who were still on site were either warming themselves and drying out in the pavilion or holding down the market stalls which threatened to take-off in the increasing winds.  All-in-all, it was a good day – but with better weather it could have been so much more fun.  
November 2006

In November we planted 3000 crocus bulbs, which were supplied by Streetforce, around 3 of trees that we had bought last year.  These are the three sorbus trees that are between the tennis courts and the path running parallel to Penistone Road.  With the 2 lime trees that we also bought last year (which complete the line of limes along Penistone Road) we hope that the aspect from the middle of the park towards the road will be a lot better and some of the traffic noise may also be reduced.  5 of us managed to plant all 3000 bulbs in a two-hour session and even had time to pose for photos.

September 2006

In September we help to clear out the Coach House in order get it into a state where structural engineers can assess its suitability for turning into a café – if we can secure funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for restoration of the Coach House, the surrounding yard, the Stable Block and proposed new access from the Walled Garden.

Years of junk are skipped over a week.  This can only happen when the pigeon mess has been professionally cleared up by a contractor. 

In practice he has to come twice as it is impossible to clamber over all of the accumulated junk to get into the corners of the building at one go.  Some bins are salvaged for the Walled   Garden and there is a significant quantity of old bricks, cobbles and stone that are saved for future restoration. 

The clear-up becomes infectious and the Rangers decided to get rid of accumulated rubbish from their store room behind the library – which seems to include a lot of old furniture, a defunct photo-copier and a mattress!
August 2006

We were lucky enough to get 4 lots of shelving for the front of the greenhouse and 4 large compost bins.  This has enabled us to present a much tidier area to the front and side of the greenhouse.  The plants at the front look more saleable on the new shelves and the compost bins are already in use. 

A knock-on effect has been to tidy up and utilize the plant storing areas in the far corner of the Walled   Garden .  These now contain perennials (verbena, marguerites, gaillardia, polyanthus, dwarf conifers and ivy) which will over-winter – or can still be bought for 50p to £1.50!

In order to get the compost bins in place (at the moment only 3 of the 4 are in use) there had to be a general tidy up of the north side of the greenhouse – clearing the existing compost bunkers and pruning back the surrounding plants.

As well as continuing to grow and sell plants from the Walled garden, we applied for a £250 “Better Neighbours”
grant from B&Q.  Each local store gives these grants to community groups in order to improve the local environment.  The grant comes in the form of free goods supplied by the local B&Q. 
July 2006

The Friends suggest staging the Sheffield Sport Relief mile in Hillsborough park.  This will be one of the main events for the year that is organised jointly by the Hillsborough Park Regeneration Steering Group ( HPRSG ).

HPRSG is made up of all of the partners in the park – the Rangers, the Friends, Hillsborough Arena Sports Association (HASA), the Bowls Club, the Tennis Club, and Hillsborough Community Development Trust.  Its aim is to help develop and help to manage Hillsborough Park.

 Sheffield City Council Ranger Service, Activity Sheffield and HASA do the majority of the organising on and before the 15th July.  The Friends assist with stewarding – initially at the car park and then on key points around the track in the park. 

The mile starts at HASA, goes out into the park, around the new running circuit and finishes back at HASA.  Four separate start times are arranged so that groups are not too large for the paths around the park


The Friends stage a production of the Wind in the Willows at HASA on a very hot Sunday afternoon.  Some 50 children and adults attend the play, which is running in competition to the World Cup on TV, and all seem to have a good time.

The theatre company are happy with the event and it makes a little additional money for HASA in refreshment sales.

The performance itself was preceded by painting, colouring and poster design competitions which were run at Hillsborough School, Parson Cross School and in Hillsborough Library.  Winners of the various competitions received book tokens, tickets to the play and for those that picked up their prizes, rudbeckia plants from the Walled Garden!

Presenting prizes to the winners at Hillsborough School gave the Friends the opportunity to talk to both assemblies about activities and progress in the Park.


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