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Friends of Grosvenor & Hilbert Park

Grosvenor & Hilbert Park News

Here are the posts for June 2012
The Big Toddle with Little Dish
Date Published: Fri 22nd Jun 2012

This charity fund raiser for Barnados was arranged by local resident Amy Harker, in association with “Little Dish”.

An annual mini sponsored walk, the under 5s were asked to dress as Superheroes this year. Despite the cloudy, and finally rainy, weather, several toddlers, friends and family came along to the children's playground. Before the walk there was dancing with “Tiny Dancers” and “Angelina Ballerina Dance”. Mabel the Cow then lead the walk around the cycle-track, before a final round of dancing and bubble-blowing.

It has to be said that “rain stopped play”, but everyone that came enjoyed themselves.

Have a Go at Orienteering
Author: Carolyn Gray, Date Published: Mon 18th Jun 2012

At the beginning of the year Tunbridge Wells Borough Council produced a “Sport and Culture Passport” to mark a year of celebrations – the Jubilee and the Olympics. We at FoGH were very excited to spot that Saxons Orienteering Club would be holding one of their free “Have a Go” sessions in the park, and were very curious to know what was involved.

The base was easy to spot, by the Oast House with a tent, flags and all the information needed, and organiser Jerry Purkis on hand to offer advice.

Two routes were laid out covering the whole park. The first was a “Yellow” route of 1.8km, with 15 controls. This was quite a simple circular route, starting near the King George V playing field, leading round to the grottoes, back to the railway zig-zag bridge, then in a course through Roundabout Woods, returning to the Oast House. However, I was told, some controls may have been hidden a little, requiring the participant to read the instructions as well as follow the map.

The second route is known as a “Butterfly”, simply because it makes the shape of four wings always leading you back to one central control, in our case this was near to the Folly Shaw woods. The total route was 3.4km, with 28 controls, but looking back at the Saxons result sheets, some people did one or two wings, with just 8 of the controls taking around 16 minutes. The complete butterfly took a lot of thinking about – one route lead straight through the wetlands... would this really be the quickest route? Also orienteering doesn't need to be a race, so if you want to go slowly and stop for lunch, they don't mind, as long as you get back before the end and return your electronic dibber.

By now, you are very interested in orienteering, or curious as to what a dibber is, so I suggest a visit to www.saxons-oc.org . There are two more Tunbridge Wells “Have a Go” events in our fellow-Friends locations of Tunbridge Wells Common and Dunorlan Park.

The most interesting part for Grosvenor and Hilbert Park is left to last; if you are strolling around the park you may notice some wooden posts with letters and numbers on. These are left from when a permanent orienteering course was made in the park. There is a permanent course on Hampstead Heath in London, and it wouldn't take much work to re-establish the Hilbert one. We also wonder if someone has hidden a geo-cache in the park, which is like a GPS version of orienteering. In the mean time, spend an afternoon walking around the woodland areas spotting the remaining posts, while we wait to hear of future organised events – who would like to have a go at night-time orienteering with head torches?

The Dog Show - Jubliee Picnic 2012
Date Published: Wed 6th Jun 2012

We didn't really know how well this was going to work but with about 40 hounds taking part and a good 200 hundred spectators I think we can say that it was worth doing.

The winners were:

Waggiest Tail:  Archie, Pippin, Cooper.

Scrufts Award: Tilly (by a Great Dane’s leap!), Ben, Bruce.

 Most Obedient Award: Jack, Bailey, Pip.

Best Trick: Indiana, Scamp, Milo.

Jubilee Judges Award: Archie, Pepper, Zac.

Best in Show: Ebony, Kaiser, Dylan.

Many thanks to Ben Chapelard and Adam (from Wag N Wash in Silverdale Road) for judging the contest. See you all next year?

Queens Diamond Jubilee Picnic in the Park
Author: Carolyn T Gray, Date Published: Tue 5th Jun 2012

Come rain or shine, it was all set to go ahead on Monday 4th June, noon to six pm. The day dawned grey and damp and we could only hope that things would brighten up. After a hectic morning of hard preparation work, the stage was set, the food stalls and traders were in place and everything was just about ready……………

Planning had started in The Allotment pub in February, and we put in a bid for a Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Celebrate Grant and for funding from The Linda Hogan Trust. The main problem was that none of us had done anything like this before! Fortunately, we always had the support of ChezJJ, The Black Horse pub and CREATE. Dan Littlechild from Acoustic Valium gave brilliant help with the bands, PA and his knowledge. Sodexo, park contractors to the Council, and in particular our park keeper Gavin, gave unstinting support. The Dog Show at 1230 on the upper football pitch was very well attended, with about 40 dogs entered, watched by a large crowd. Councillor Ben Chapelard and Adam from Wag N Wash in Silverdale Road judged. The winners received rosettes, which they proudly wore for the rest of the day.

Grosvenor Bowls Club ran another Open Day, and the bouncy castles from “Bounce the Party” proved very popular. St Philip's Scouting group provided a tent for wet weather. Honnington Events came with their “Bowl for a Pig” game – brilliant as we have both a Bowls Club and Pig's Hill! Shops from Camden Road included Fantastical Furniture and Precious Bundles. CREATE ran the incredible Story Telling Tent.

Local drumming band Bloco Fogo got the party started at 1:30, when they paraded from the Hilbert Road gates to the main performance area. Chairman J Paul Lambert then officially opened the event and introduced our guest of honour, 99 year old Joyce Funnell, who has lived locally her whole life. Emails to The Courier had helped us to find our oldest resident. Paul presented her with a bunch of flowers from The Flower Basket in Camden Road.

Music and entertainment followed with the Create Choir, street dancer Nick Numass, with the crowd joining in with some dancing, a gymnastics display from NDGA gym and dancing from Flamenco Mosaico. Bands performing were The Shutdown, Alex Beharrell, Imperfection Perfection, Revelations and Insomnia. Two young magicians, Jake Dalyanci and Joe Mason walked around entertaining the crowd with tricks. Tiger Inline Hockey ran “Beat the Goalie”. Friend of the Park, Carl Abrams brought his “ServKent” charity bike, a hit with the younger members of the crowd. We had stalls from the TW Vegan Group, Recall Theatre Studio, and the Fire Brigade, until they received an emergency call-out! Giving away free day passes to St John's Sports Centre was “Tommy the Trainer”.

ChezJJ provided French food, strawberries and cream, as well as cupcakes. Ross Campbell Fish and Chips (based on Tuesdays evening at the Royal Oak, Hawkenbury) had a long queue of hungry picnickers. The Black Horse pub ran a beer tent and also sold Teresa's home made pies. Panini on the Park were open as usual and ran a hot-dog stall on the football pitch.

Another part of the Jubilee has been the amazing artwork created on the zig-zag railway bridge, by local street artists Dave Eagles and Josh, from The Overspray Gallery in Camden Road.

The day ended with our raffle, drawn by Councillor David Neve. First prize went to Friend of the Park, Ros Styles, who won a £150 Hamper of cosmetics from Mavala UK. The footstool from Chairs and Upholstery Shop was won by India and Sarah Greene. Our thanks to all who gave prizes and to all those who bought tickets, joined the Friends group and made donations.

We were completely amazed by the number of visitors and the positive feedback. The committee hope we created something enjoyable for all. We want this to be the Park for everyone and we hope that the picnic opened up the Park to people who may not have visited before: please spread the word to all those you know – there is a Park hidden here amongst all the houses and trees!

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