Category Archives: Wisbech Town Park
No Incinerator says Wisbech Town Council
Very pleased to notify you all that tonight, at the special meeting of Full Council (Wisbech Town Council) my motion opposing the incinerator was passed unanimously.
This means its now been passed at FDC (nearly unanimously) and at WTC (unanimously.)
Just got to get it through County now and we will have a hat trick of local Councils committed to opposing this awful incinerator.
Rock Festival Wash Up
I know, I know. Every year I write up the Rock Festival and talk about how hard work it was but how well it went. That’s because it is always hard work and it does always seem to go pretty well. And when a small group of people work so hard to put something great on for our town its worth talking about, I think, even if its a bit repetitive.
Wisbech Town Council aspire to do our events a little bit better each year. We watch what works and build on it. We watch what doesn’t work so well and enact plans to prevent or reduce that problem the following year. This means that each year things run a little more smoothly. But there’s no getting around the sheer volume of the work.
The whole thing takes several months of meetings, planning and organisation to get set. Then the actual setup of the event begins on the Saturday night, when Councillors and volunteers meet up to get some of the early work done in time for the morning; getting dozens of safety barriers to the park, moving the gazebos ready to be set up in the morning (harder work than you might think, these things are heavy and they have weights to hold them down that are heavier.)
Then people arrive early in the morning on the Sunday to begin putting everything in place. There’s a lot to organise. Barriers, first aid tent, stage, traders area, litter bins, portaloos and toilets. All the volunteer stewards are briefed on safety procedures and “what to do’s” in the event of various possible issues.
Once the event begins, stewards (who have already been working for four hours at that point) then have to spend some nine hours keeping on top of things. Constantly picking up litter (otherwise it accumulates in a grim way and the place looks like a bomb has hit it), helping reunite lost children with worried parents, unblocking toilets, diffusing any potential disputes between individuals, handing out free water to people if there is a worry that the heat might be a problem, directing people to things, dealing with first aid issues and generally keeping the event running safety and smoothly. The park is split into three “stages” and so stewards are walking all around the park all day, which was in blistering heat this year.
At all times stewards must be upbeat, friendly and happy – because grumpy, hot, tired angry stewards do not add to a successful party atmosphere. Often, as the day wears on and feet start to ache and sunburn gets sore and you’ve just taken your twenty-ninth binbag of rubbish to the skip, remaining positive and smiley can be a little challenging, but our stewards manage it because it really is fun to know you are delivering fun for others.
When the day ends for everybody else, stewards still have three more hours “clearing up” to do. Putting back all those metal barriers and gazebos and weights, clearing all the rest of the litter, loading it all into vans and getting it back into storage. Everybody is shattered by the end.
I think most people know this but I do think its worth stressing that every single one of our stewards, whether they are Councillors or friends, are all volunteers. Nobody gets paid a penny. It is not part of anybody’s “job.” They turn up and give their time and energy for free, to deliver this event to people who love it.
In my opinion, this year was probably the best ever Rock Festival. It’s true that there was a fight at the Dance Stage, brought about by some inter-family drama and (I suspect) the use of alcohol and substances some of them brought with them. But it was handled smoothly by stewards and the Police and did not detract from the overall event – in fact most people didn’t know it had happened at all. It is not possible for any event to have zero incidents, the mark of good organisation is the correct handling of the situation. David Oliver’s team and the stewards went precisely by the book and the scuffle was contained and diffused.
Councillors David and Jess Oliver handle safety for the whole event and were brilliant.
Cllr Garry Tibbs, who compered the whole event, has pretty much secured the role forever. He just has a Rock n’ Roll voice :) But despite his new celebrity, he was still litter picking and loading with the rest of us lowly steward minions. :) :)
Gary Read and his sound team are always awesome and this was particularly true this year – I don’t think I’ve ever heard Rock Festival sound so good.
All the many Councillors and volunteers worked their socks off. I wont name them all because I will forget some but I would like to mention Trevor Ketteringham (always tireless and hard-working) and Cllr. Andrew Lynn and most particularly David Gutteridge (The Viking) whose new First Aid qualification was put to good use and who worked so hard at the Dance Stage for most of the day.
Obviously – huge thanks to all the acts on all three stages who entertained so many people for so long.
The stalls and fair were great.
The Mayor, Cllr Peter Human, and his family were absolute troopers. Despite having to make a long, hot Mayoral appearance, he was still there in the dark at the end loading things into vans.
My Mum and Stepdad and my Son Joe were just great.
Our Town Clerk Terry, and Susanah Farmer, were also there for the entire event working above and beyond the call of duty.
But most of all my hat goes off to Cllr. Sam Hoy who is the lead person and main organiser of the event and who, once again, with the help of all the people I have named and probably quite a few I forgot to name (sorry!) delivered an incredible success.
Joe At The Rock Festival
I told my Son on Friday that now he is thirteen it is time to give something back to the community and that he should come help with Rock Festival for the day.
I expected him to find reasons not to do it, but was very pleased that he immediately agreed.
So it was that he rose at the crack of dawn on a Sunday during school Summer Holidays and came out for fifteen hours of hard work.
He was helping set up at the outset, spent the day picking litter and stewarding and pitching in 100% and was still there in the darkness, when the crowds had all gone home, alongside the other volunteers packing down gazebos and lifting metal railings into stacks.
He didn’t complain once, just worked alongside everybody until the very end.
When you add in my Mum and Stepdad, there were three generations of our family working at the event. I am extremely proud of my Son for joining the crazy family tradition of volunteering. Well done, Joe.
Wisbech Rock Festival 2018
Refurbished Town Park Bandstand
The Mayoress and I joined Cllr Peter Murphy, Cllr Viv McRae, Cllr Carol Cox, Mr Peter Humphreys, plus users of the St. Augustines Day Centre and other local people for the grand opening of the Wisbech Town Park Bandstand.
The project featured involvement from various local groups and was funded by WREN, s106 Money from Fenland District Council and with design assistance from Peter Humphreys.
The bandstand looks amazing. It took a while due to a series of manufacturing delays, but it was well worth the wait. It is now the highlight of the park and looks incredible.
Thanks to Roy McManus for his lovely music, which everybody enjoyed. Also thanks to Franks for the refreshments. A very pleasant afternoon and a brilliant new feature for our town.
(Photos courtesy of Lynne Gillings. Cheers!)
The Brinks Festival, Colour Run, 2017
The Colour Run is a part of the Brinks Festival.https://www.thebrinksfestival.org/ This morning I joined a huge group of other mad people to run 5K around Wisbech Park in the blazing sun while other people threw paint at us. I seemed to get a LOT of paint, which may have had something to do with the MC shouting: “There’s the Mayor, GET HIM” or words to that effect throughout the event. :) :)
It was enormous fun. The whole thing served as a reminder of how unfit I am :) Well done to everybody else though, I wish I could have kept up with you better! But I did get to the finish line, so that’ll do for now ;) ;)
WCP – Brief Update 2/9/16
Two more Wisbech Citizens’ patrol walks over the last couple of days.
We were out late last night with two teams. It was very very quiet, even for Wisbech. A nice evening though so we enjoyed the walk, but saw few people anywhere. Norfolk Street, the Park, the Port, the Memorial Garden, Tillery Fields, Church Gardens – all deserted. We picked up a lot of litter though, so the time wasn’t wasted.
Today we were out again for a lunchtime walk. Town was quite busy, lots of people going about their business. Teams covered all the usual areas and also some roads and areas we’d been asked to look at by the public. We saw a young man doing some amazing parkour. We also thought the the FDC contractors working on the town flower displays were doing amazing work. The gardens look beautiful at the moment. Picking litter, resolving minor issues, but nothing major to report.
Thank you, as ever, to the volunteers.
100 new homes planned for Wisbech Park
Plans to put up 100 new homes in Wisbech Park were announced this week.
But don’t panic – the wide open spaces aren’t about to be concreted over. This scheme is strictly one for the birds, with the aim being to install 100 new bird boxes there.
It has been dreamed up to tie in with the Royal Horticultural Society’s “It’s Your Neighbourhood” initiative and is part of Wisbech In Bloom’s campaign for Britain in Bloom this year.
The idea arose from a casual conversation between Bob Ollier, Fenland District Council’s parks and open spaces manager, and David Edwards, a member of the Friends of Wisbech Park.
And this week (February 23) the two men joined with FDC councillors, members of the Friends and In Bloom groups and a representative of ISS, the council’s horticultural contractors, to launch the scheme.
Mr Ollier said: “We’ve got around 250 trees in the park and our aim is to put 100 new bird boxes up on them. To do that, we’re looking for local organisations, shops, garden centres and members of the public to donate boxes.
“The idea is that each donor will have a box with their name on it which will be put up on one of the trees. They will then be able to keep an eye on the birds that move in and occupy it.”
Mr Edwards is planning to contact all the local schools and other organisations to encourage them to join in with the project.
Councillor Peter Murphy, FDC’s Cabinet member responsible for the environment, said: “This is a brilliant idea. It’s so simple but it gives lots of people the chance to get involved with the park and do their little bit for it. I hope it really catches on.”