Today I took another slow amble around the park and was well rewarded as the above pictures all show, but I would like to begin by returning to the main issue of the last few weeks again — the use of studded boots on the grass playing area. On Sunday I followed up my blog with an email about the problem to a number of people including Eddie Curry, the Head of Parks, and Melanie Futer, Nottingham University's Manager (of) off Campus Student Affairs. I haven't heard from Eddie yet but Malanie emailed me to say 'I have been visiting the park, and did so again this morning. I agree that the absence of Dave has a dramatic effect on the Park, shows how indispensable he is!! However on one of my visits last week, there were some young men playing football in studded footwear, ascertaining that they were students from our University, I explained the rule about studded footwear and asked them to leave the park, which they did. I will be keeping my eye on this, we certainly don't want to go back to the situation we were in a few years ago! Regards Melanie'. The renaissance of Lenton Recreation Ground could not have happened without the support of Nottingham University and Melanie has been a key player. Thanks Melanie.
The picture of the park house is the first I have deliberately posted to my blog. Until a few weeks ago it was someone's home, so I had put it off limits in order to protect their privacy. Now its future is up for grabs and there are at least two ideas in the wind: it could become the new offices of the Dunkirk and Lenton Partnership Forum who are currently based in a large room at Lenton School or it could become a base for one or some of the City Council's new park rangers, especially if the park becomes a base for educational activities. Whatever happens a decision needs to be made quickly otherwise it will end up being boarded up and an eyesore. Any changes will need planning permission for change of use, but I can't see this being a problem.
As I ambled around I saw four young ladies with a camera and a tripod on the dunking area. It turns out they are geography students at Nottingham University and were trying to make a short film. They were lovely and bubbly and a joy to talk with, so I decided to call them the 'Quadtriplets'. They then asked me if they could film me talking to them. Given that I was taking their photograph I agreed and was told I might appear as an 'out-take at the end'. If I hear any more I will let you know.
A little further on I met Harry, Lenton's very own roadsweeper, coming back for his lunch after a morning of doing the rounds. He's been here since September and this is the first time I've photographed him. Whilst I was laid up I saw Harry in his yellow rain gear going arround the park emptying all the bins and wanted to take his picture then, but with my foot out of action there was no way I could. Harry is a hero as far as I am concerned and should be far better paid than he is for what he does — a job that very few other people are willing to do. He goes about Lenton in all weather emptying litter bins and clearing litter from our pavements and roads. He almost certainly knows more about where Lenton's litter 'hotspots' are, but I wonder if the city council has ever asked him? In any discussion about litter bins in Lenton it quickly emerges that we all think what bins there are are often too small and in the wrong place. Who better to talk to than Harry. Perhaps the Forum can have a chat with him and get his ideas. I'm sure we could all learn more from Harry than anyone else when it comes to the subject of Lenton and litter!
Finally, a picture I took on Sunday of the crocuses in Holy Trinty Churchyard just across from the Church Street entrance to the park. Last year I took a similar picture on 5 March. I think they look beautiful and will probably be there for a few more days yet, so you will have to be quick if you want to see them in all their glory. These days the churchyard is usually padlocked except on a Sunday, which is a sad state of affairs and says much about the times we live in.
Government ministers are looking at the idea of 'community kitties' by giving local areas, potentially the size of three wards, access to £1m annual budgets to spend in priorities selected by local bodies.