Wednesday, 27 February 2008

An outdoor community centre

A tiger who visited Lenton Recreation Ground this afternoon to promote two Varsity football matches at Meadow Lane on 28 February 2008 between Nottingham and Nottingham Trent university students. The women kick-off @ 5.30pm and the men @ 7.30pm. Tickets cost £3.50.
Local residents and gig organisers, plus a representative from the Dunkirk and Lenton Partnership Forum, meeting in the park this morning to discuss plans for some proposed live music and community events in the park this summer. The meeting was arranged by Parbinder Singh, who works for Nottingham City Council's Area 8 Committee which covers the Dunkirk & Lenton and Bridge wards.

Wednesday afternoon is the most popular time of the week for students to play football in the park. After a gap of only a few months (see my blog dated 19 October 2007) some players are using studded boots again and the grassed playing area is being damaged. The signs explaining why studded boots can't be used are being ignored. Perhaps it is no coincidence that our groundsperson, Dave, has been on holiday for the last few weeks plus the evenings are getting longer, so there is more time and more organised games as a result.

Much of the park's grassed playing area is now looking like this, pitted with stud marks. In places the damage is already much worse, but this is how it starts and it rapidly becomes a sea of mud during wet periods. The grass has to be protected at all times and controls enforced. It's unfortunate but it's a fact of life.

Talking this morning with Andy and Jol, two young men who organise gigs and events mainly for students, about a weekend of events that they want to organise in the park in June it dawned on me that what Lenton Recreation Ground has become is an outdoor community centre and that it has to be managed as such.

No one was against having live pop music in the park providing all the obvious issues around such an event can be overcome, like noise levels, finishing times, facilities, parking and admission to the play area and the bowling greens, plus a few more we didn't think of! In fact the Forum's representative at the meeting asked if local caterers could be used and whether a planned 'family event' could be for all the community. This seems like the way forward to me. Instead of a promoter who pays just to hire the park, we look for partners like Andy and Jol who are willing to work with the local community. I hope something comes of the proposal. I'll keep you posted.

Today we have had a meeting in the park, people passing through with briefcases and others with shopping trolleys. We've had joggers and dog walkers. Then there's been the kids and, of course, the Varsity Tiger and his/her keepers handing out flyers for the fundraising football matches tomorrow. All this on the last Wednesday in February. You see what I mean about Lenton Recreation Ground being an outdoor community centre?

Britain's largest earthquake in nearly a quarter of a century left one person injured and a trail of damage. The magnitude 5.2 quake hit just before 1am today and was centred on Market Rasen in Lincolshire. Its effects were felt as far away as Wales, Scotland and London. In Lenton beside the park we heard a loud rumbling and grinding sound before our house actually shuddered and swayed for what seemed an age but was, in fact, only a few seconds. It was an experience we won't forget in a hurry.

1 comment:

Paul Pursglove said...

The earthquake was a hotly debated topic. I woke up to find the objects on my bedside table dancing. I recall mumbling - "it's only an earthquake, it's a long way off" then I went back to sleep. Had it a more forceful tremor, I would have dashed out into the street, away from the buildings - I think!