To take Matlock first. In looking for a pub that we could have supper in we walked the length of Matlock Park. It is bounded on one side by a river and on the other by a busy road. The park’s amenities include a bridge over the river, a café, tennis courts, a putting green, a bowling green, a bandstand, a duck pond, a boating lake, and a miniature railway.
Wandering through this park made me realise that in Fortune Green we are between a rock and a hard place. The Green is tiny and Golders Hill Park and the Heath are managed landscapes rather than recreational. Which brings me back to a version of the Radio 4 question. “What do you want to see happening on the Green?”
Before I go on I must make two acknowledgements. One that as a FoFG member I feel that the maintenance of the Green must be the overwhelming priority. Two that there are already a good range of organised and casual activities and perhaps I should add that as in any public space there are competing and sometimes incompatible interests at work.
O.K. we are not Matlock Park nor Hampstead Heath., but there are a few activities that would be free, incur no or very little cost and be easy to organise.
So how about –
- A newspaper and coffee morning. The paper shop is across the road. People could bring a coffee and in either comfortable silence or conversation join fellow readers on the benches.
- Meet your committee members. Clad in the FoFG waistcoats members of the committee (with or without refreshments ) would spend time on the benches and be glad to meet you and hear your views.
- A chess event, players turn up with a table and chair and a chess set and play pick up games. The continent seems so much better at this than we are.
- La Boule. If FoFG could run to a set of and someone got hold of a set of rules it could be played in the dog free area and we could imagine ourselves in a Paris park any evening of the summer.
- I’m getting a bit carried away here, but how about a beating the boundaries walk. Gather at the old fountain before lunch on a Sunday and walk around the Green and the cemetery. Followed by a pint in the Alliance (do complete the survey to keep it as a pub www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/alliancepub , or for more information go to www.savethealliance.org ). Then home for lunch. A once a year event.
These are my ideas, how about yours?
- Ted Booth