Thursday, 17 April 2008

Sponsor's Day in the park

2.15pm. Dave's friendly colleagues from surrounding parks have been drafted in to help tidy Lenton Recreation Ground for a special day.

2.20pm and park users begin to gather for the formal part of the afternoon.

2.30pm. Dr Paul Greatrix, Nottingham University's Registrar, addresses the assembled park users and tells them why the University believes the park matters to them and the local community and that they are proud to be sponsoring Lenton Recreation Ground.

2.30pm. Paul Greatrix's words are filmed and recorded for posterity.

2.40pm. An oak tree is planted to commemorate the occasion and an official group photograph is about to be taken, but not until Dave, our groundsperson, has nipped into the spot Melanie has reserved for him.

2.50pm. Now the oak tree has been firmly trodden into place by the stamping of many feet, it's onto a mass planting of Bluebells, but not before a lesson in bluebell poking from an expert.

2.55pm. The task of Bluebell planting is in full swing. I have a lovely picture of bottoms, but I'm saving that for a competition at Christmas.

2.55pm. Dave Trimble, our local Dunkirk and Lenton Labour Party city councillor gets to grips with digging the dirt. At times like this experience makes all the difference. Dave is also the City Council's Portfolio Holder for Culture & Tourism (which includes Parks).

2.57pm. It won't be Dave appearing in the local newspaper tomorrow. The man from the press has found a far more photogenic pair to captivate the readers.

2.58pm. The perfect picture, taken in one. Don't they look lovely with a handful of bluebells for planting?

3pm. Now the second most serious part of the afternoon begins — bending ears, as the peace lady takes her opportunity and begins bending Eddie Curry's ear about why the delay in getting the Nottingham Peace Garden in place (Eddy is the Head of Nottingham City Parks and is very approachable).

3.15pm. By now the main business of the afternoon is under way and everyone is busy eating cake (and delicious it was too). Dave Trimble is another person who people always want to talk to about something.

3.30pm. I have saved the best for last. Philippa from the Dunkirk and Lenton Partnership Forum office came along with her new baby and let me take their picture. Philippa is a real stalwart and a lovely, lovely person. Lenton is blessed by the quality of people working for its Forum.

Melanie and the University organised a lovely afternoon to launch their sponsorship of Lenton Recreation Ground, even managing to conjure up sunshine and a blue sky. As a local resident who can be critical of Nottingham University at times, I have to say I am delighted that they are sponsoring the park and as I said to the Registrar, today I have seen a pig fly and it is a wonderful thing.

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