Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Park Regulars say goodbye to Kevin

On Sunday, the park regulars had a special 'Tea in the Park' for Kevin. It was his last day after nine summers as our weekend park-keeper. I took this picture of him sitting on the bench outside the park pavilion with Eric, who visits the park most days. The morning was wet, windy and cold, but in the afternoon, the wind dropped and the sun came out, so by the time we gathered to have some farewell cake and tea with Kevin, there was eight of us park regulars. For the next ninety minutes or so we put the world to rights and re-ordered Nottingham City Council into a workers and pensioners' republic. There was talk of Boots and schools and how we had seen it all before.

Thinking about it, should I ever get around to my campaign for a Lenton parish council, I will call those who rally to the cause the 'Lenton Regulars' — people who stand up and fight for our community in a myriad of ways. It will be a kind of popular front, pulling otherwise disparate elements together in a common cause.

From next weekend and the rest of the winter period there will be visits to the park during the day by the new Park Ranger Service then, during the 2009 summer season (April–September), a park ranger will be based at Lenton Recreation Ground all day every Saturday and Sunday. No one locally seems to know what the park rangers will actually do, but I have asked the Parks Dept to tell us more at the next meeting of the Nottingham Open Spaces Forum (which should be the end of this month), so watch this space.

One thing is for sure. To match Kevin the park ranger who comes to join us will have to go some. What Kevin has provided, like Dave (our groundsperson) is continuity. In its absence, the only 'continuity' we can be sure of is re-invention, as new faces arrive, ignorant of the past they inherit, and set about dismantling what works well. I came to the conclusion long ago that it is what humans do to mark their territory. Once upon the time we would have behaved liked other animals and left doo-doos everywhere, but now we re-organise instead. OK I'm being a little harsh. One of the many topics touched upon during our tea-time chat with Kevin on Sunday, was how school caretakers became site managers and the nature of the job changes, for the better in many ways. And so it is with the coming of park rangers. It is change and we all hope it is for for the better. For my part I look forward to catching my first park ranger in Lenton Recreation Ground and will bring you his or her head to prove my success.

An early attempt at a rally on the London stockmarket swiftly evaporated this morning as investors were again gripped with fear following yesterday's slump - the worst day's trading in over 20 years.

No comments: