The Friends of Stanley Park and Salisbury Woodland 18th Birthday

Elaine Smith MBE, our Chairman sends a birthday message:
Hi Everyone,
Happy birthday to you!  Happy birthday to you!  Happy birthday dear Friends of Stanley Park, happy birthday to you!
Yes – it was 18 years ago today (9th July) since about a dozen people met in a small upstairs meeting room at the then De Vere Hotel to discuss the possibility of starting the first Friends of a Park group in Blackpool.  The group was made up of Council staff, police , park concessioners and the Chairman, Planning Officer & Secretary (me!) of the Blackpool Civic Trust.
The council was putting in a £5 million Heritage Lottery bid for Stanley Park and needed community input to be eligible so thus our Friends group was born!  The Civic Trust was involved because in preparation for this – to help towards the much needed ‘match funding’ – in 2001 we had published a book “Stanley Park – A Landscape Masterpiece”.  Paul Drinnen, the then Planning Officer for the Trust (and now Head of Planning at Fylde Council!) had written about our park as his University thesis.  Paul used this as a basis, I typed it all out and we got the late Joe Wade to help Paul with the sketches.  (editors note: please see the photo below)
By the time we left the meeting at the De Vere, Anita Brakewell from the Model Village was Chairman of the Friends of Stanley Park and I was the Secretary and the rest, as they say. is history……!  So – happy birthday and here’s to the next 18 years.
Normally we throw an Afternoon Tea Party at our July meeting but for obvious reasons this year that, along with everything else, is cancelled.
However, it was lovely to see so many of you yesterday morning on the Cafe Terrace.  Lovely to catch up and chat with old and new friends/Friends.  I was getting a little worried that we were all getting rather close together but thankfully we were outdoors.  It was our own faults as we moved the chairs around so that close friends could sit together.  Next week we will ensure that the tables are not quite so close together at the start.    We will continue to do this – weather permitting – until we are allowed back in the Visitor Centre (this may be quite a while!)   Next week I am not being tempted (you know who you are!) into a bacon butty.  Instead I am going to be tempted into a full English breakfast.
Provisionally we have booked the AGM for the 19th September in the Village Hotel.  (I’m going to finish where I started.)   This, of course, is very dependent on the Corvid 19 and the rules and regulations surrounding it.  The Village have delegated a larger room for us so we will have to take stock a bit nearer the time.  Until then please put the date in your diary.
Last week I had to apologise because I was too late in sending Forest Gate Baptist’s link for their fun session at the end of the service so I asked John if he would mind letting me have it a bit earlier.  Following my email to you, you will find John’s reply.  Please take note so that you can join in.
Hope you all enjoy this birthday day whatever you are doing.
Elaine Smith
Chairman – Friends of Stanley Park & the Salisbury Woodland
Stanley Park Blackpool - A landscape Masterpiece
Stanley Park Blackpool – A landscape Masterpiece.  An A4 booklet produced in 2001 described above.

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