Thursday 7th April 2022
Meeting by Video Conference
Roger Jones (Chair), Ron Innell (Vice Chair), Marion Innell, Ricky O’Garro (Park Supervisor), Nicky Brown, Joel Farrell, Mary Edmondson, Uta Saatz, Marlene Sidaway, Helen & Colm McGrath, Liz Hendry, Pearl Saunders and Lyndsay Jones
Charlotte Cook, Jules Maurice-Williams. Alan Cooper, Su Leaver, John Rands, Eugene Czauderna, Helen Mossop, Pat Mossop, Bruce Cleghorn
Roger welcomed everyone to the meeting, which started late due to Zoom difficulties. He thanked Helen McGrath for stepping in as host.
Minutes of the last meeting
Mary pointed out that the event planned with From the Ground Up was recorded as planned for 8th July. This should read 8th June.
Minutes from the meeting held on 24th February 2022 were otherwise agreed as a correct record.
Roger stated that there are some website fees due to come in shortly, and he will contact Marion to agree payments.
Report from the Park Supervisor
Work is going well. The asbestos removal is complete, which means that the installation of the “Splash Pad” play area, which is the major item of work, can now begin. Once this is under way it will be possible to plan for an opening date and a suitable event.
The outdoor gym has been completely resurfaced with a recycled rubber material, which will keep the area dry and free of muddy puddles.
As of 4th April the new Park Manager, Richard Gentry and Superintendent Stephania Horne are in post. They have visited the park and were impressed with what they saw. Stephania has expressed a wish to meet FWHP, and a meeting was arranged for 22nd April.
Park Keeper Deane has now retired and left the area. He will be much missed. Deane had sent his thanks to all in FWHP for the card and gift.
The agency has had no success in recruiting the necessary temporary staff to fill vacancies for 6-9 months until CoL’s review is completed. It has been agreed that Ricky can advertise locally. He will send the role details to Nicky to be put on our social media.
Recent activities and Volunteer Hours
For March 2022 are as follows –
Activities continue including planning for the summer period and events.
Bird surveys continue with 5 people for 6 hours
Wildlife Garden Maintenance 8 people for 12 hours
Health Walks continue
Litter picking 6 people for a total of 30 hours
Total volunteer hours = 48 hours.
2022 Programme and Activities
All activities subject to no changes being made to the current Covid restrictions.
Playground interpretive panels
Mary reported that the artist involved with the Forest Gate project is willing to liaise with us. Their project will not know whether it has the grant to go ahead until mid-May.
Ron reported that he had met an artist in the park who illustrates children’s books and may be willing to help us. He is following this up.
Linking Green Spaces
Roger reported that Newham Councillor James Asser took part in an event in March and is supportive of the project, the Great Eastern Parks Route, to create a walk to link green spaces in East London, including WHP.
Newham History month
Roger and Ron will liaise regarding plans for a history walk sometime in the summer.
‘Spring is here’ event and Tree Identification Walk – 1st May
Eugene and Alison have this event in hand. They will send details to Nicky for the publicity. A list of volunteer helpers was noted.
Community Summer fair
This will take place 15th to 17th July 2022. We agreed to have a stall. The details will need to be decided but any children’s activities will need to be carefully considered after the experiences of previous events. Note — There will also be a Spring Fair 20th to 22nd May 2022
The Dogs Trust
The charity is only able to hold fund raising events this year, as they have struggled financially through the pandemic.
The wildflower seeds have been sown and netted. Lyndsay will check on the area and decide when to remove the netting and any lingering brambles.
Community Vegetable Garden
Eugene and Su have applied for a grant to support a community children’s event on 2nd June a as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. They only need £40, and it was agreed to use FWHP funds if the application is not successful.
Pearl stated that she, Eugene and Su have joined a local community gardens WhatsApp group and are sharing ideas and visiting each other’s gardens.
Ron has been unable to get any response from either of the organisers, so there are no plans at the moment (post-meeting note contact has been made).
Dates for regular events
Bat walks: Friday 26 August and Friday 23rd September
Newham’s Biggest Leaf Pile: Sunday 6th November
Park in the Dark: Friday 2nd December.
Affiliation with other park user groups
No progress to date. Nicky suggested that if we take a stall at the Community Fair in July we could use this as a means of getting other users groups to coma and talk to us informally. This was agreed in principle.
Future Meeting Dates for 2022
14th July, including AGM
These will all be Zoom meetings, except for the AGM (14th July) which will be on the Bandstand.
Publicity and Media
The rota for submitting article to Newham Voices was agreed. The next article on sport history, was being prepared by Ron. This was due on 15th April.
Storage of FWHP data
Nicky and Roger had discussed options. There would be a cost involved. They would prepare a proposal and agree this with members (by email) before the AGM.
Nicky has been contacted by those who operate café in Plashet Park, with a view to meeting us to discuss how to run a Friends Group. We have suggested meeting dates but no response from them as yet.
There is also a petition circulating, possibly also linked to this café, to demand a café in West Ham Park. Whilst this is an often mentioned lack in our park, CoL are certainly not about to build a café, and Ricky felt that the model in the park was for people to generally bring their own food. The ice cream van and seasonal “Snack Shack” café fill most needs. It was decided that we would not promote this petition.
The meeting closed at 20.26