Annual Report for postponed AGM
13th February 2021
When I wrote my report in November we were hoping to be able to reconvene our AGM for February but with a third lockdown still in place and no date yet set for a reduction in restrictions we have had to come up with an alternative solution so that the business of the group can be progressed.
Once again our parks have proved so important in allowing people to exercise, meet on a one-to one basis and just get some much needed fresh air. Both parks are being well used. Litter is less of an issue with picnics not happening but some areas have become very muddy, especially near the streams where the children love to play. This is a short-term issue and will soon mend itself once drier weather and grass growth returns and it’s great to see some of the inventive uses branches have been put to in by these small ‘Beavers’ . We have lost a couple of small trees but otherwise the parks remain in good condition thanks to the work carried out by staff of the Parks, Estates and Open Spaces Team despite some staff shortages. For example, a car was recently driven into Maryon Wilson and set ablaze. We identified that poor positioning of the wooden bollards along Thorntree Road had allowed it to be driven onto the grass but within a few weeks the car was removed and extra bollards fitted.
The animal park – continues to thrive and is as popular as ever with several new breeds of birds added such as a pair of Golden Pheasants and some Bantam hens plus 4 new goats. The pigs have hugely expanded in size and the deer are doing well, although we lost the stag last year and hope he might be replaced in the spring. 4 young goats were bought last autumn and have now been moved from the temporary quarantine pen to their new home in the main goat enclosure.
Maryon playground – we have some good news to report! The council were awarded £1million to spend on parks across the borough. Some of this money has been allocated to Maryon Park with £50,000 for an overhaul of the playground. Our subgroup has been in discussion with the Community Liaison Officer and our thoughts should feed into the design and quotation process. We understand we will be consulted again before a final decision is made. On top of this some money was made available for repairs within the park. To date some paths have been repaired and the netball court re-laid.
In addition a bid is currently being prepared by our group to supply 2 picnic tables for Maryon Wilson Park. If successful, these will go close to the stream that flows through the triangle area, which has become very popular with children during lockdown and for afterschool play.
The Community Garden – has done well despite all the restrictions this year and a separate report is attached.
A Mystery – We were contacted before Christmas by a female metal detectorist in Derbyshire who found a beautiful silver medal awarded to an A Harvey for gymnastics at the Maryon Park gymnasium (the site of the current playground) in 1910. The medal was found on an Albert or watch chain so it must have meant a lot to someone. She was unable to trace anyone locally and came to us. We suspect a link with G R Harvey Ltd who ran the metal works in Charlton. Lockdown has hampered research efforts but if any member knows of a definite link we’d love to hear from you.
This year sees the 20th Anniversary of The Friends of Maryon and Maryon Wilson Parks. We hope we can arrange some sort of celebration later in the year and will be in touch about that.
My thanks to Steve for carrying out the role of Secretary and in particular to Gulle for working as Treasurer and Membership Secretary, archivist and representative of the group at Greenwich Parks Forum meetings. Gulle is a founder member of the group and will be stepping down as an officer although we are hoping that she will remain on the committee and continue to maintain the wonderful scrapbooks that are such an important record of the group’s activities and achievements over the years.
In place of formal AGM Minutes I can add that Natalie was elected Treasurer nem con by email. No others stood for the role of Secretary or Chair so I and Steve will continue in the roles unopposed.
Finally, the first daffodils that have been planted in batches in Maryon Wilson Park over several years are now starting to show their heads and bring hope for a better year in 2021 – do look out for them on your walks.