Everyone is welcome to join the Friends of Victoria Park in a short Armistice Day service on Sunday 12 November at 2pm at the park’s beautiful cenotaph near the pond.
The Friends reintroduced the service last year in an effort to recall the lives of local people who lost their lives in war. Chair of the Friends of Victoria Park Richard East explains: “The Cenotaph is a prominent feature in the park and and last year’s service was very poignant. We are interested in the history of the park and one of our members Gillian Mawdsley recalled the lives of two soldiers from the local area who died at war - Friederick O’Beine of Broomhill who died in November 1917 in the Battle of Bourlon Wood and Alan Walker Souter, a parishioner of Balshagray Victoria Church who died on 11 September 1944.
This year in memory of Dunkirk, we will tell the story of Private Andrew Weir from Partick" who was killed in France in 1940. He was a relative of one our members. but we know hundreds of park users will have lost relatives particularly in the first and second world wars - so many that the decision was taken not to name them all individually when the monument was built.”
The cenotaph was designed in the early twenties by Yorkshire sculptor Francis William Doyle and consists of a bronze female figure with outspread wings standing on a globe and holding out a wreath with both hands - a symbol of Peace Crowning the Heroes.
The inscription reads ‘Our beloved dead - to the Glory of God and in Grateful and everlasting rememberance of the men of Partick and Whiteinch who fell in the Great War 1914 - 1918 and 1939 - 1945’ and on the base it states ‘WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.’
In the 1920s, thousands of people attended the Rememberance Services in the Park as you can see from this video on Youtube youtu.be/0cuCZLb_EXg
People of all ages are welcome to join in this year’s short service to hear Private Andrew Weirs story and the sounding of the last post. The Friends will lay a wreath but anyone who wants to can mark the occasion with their own poppies or flowers.
For more information on the Friends of Victoria Park or about this event, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Friends of Victoria Park have welcomed moves by Glasgow City Council to begin clearing work that will enable the rock gardens and cliffs around the Fossil Grove to be rejuvenated.
The rock garden and pond area have been neglected for some years due to ongoing budget cuts and are in a deteriorating condition. However money has now been allocated for a contract to start the clearing work.
Chair of the Friends of Victoria Park Richard East explains: We have been in discussions with the Council’s Land Services for some time about how we can improve the gardens around the Fossil Grove. We are now seeking funds to restore the pond and establish a fernery. Ferns will be easier to maintain than formal gardens and reflect the fact that the stone ‘tree trunks’ were themselves were originally tree ferns.”
After an ecological survey is completed, the Friends aim to restore the original pond which will be lined in clay, reinstate the water feed and rebuild the rustic bridge shown in the old postcard above which was a much loved feature of the grove. Quotes have already been received for this work.
But before any progress can be made, a lot of vegetation needs to be cleared from the site. This includes weeds and bushes that are now masking the rock faces of the quarry and causing deterioration in the rock faces. This will open up the area and allow the different rock strata to be seen. Organic material removed from the site will be mulched and carefully spread on the blaes pitches area.
This phase of the work is being undertaken by specialist contractors and will start on 26 September. It is scheduled to last four weeks with some ongoing maintenance over the next two years. The Grove will look worse for a while until projects to revive the pond and estabish the fernery are well underway.
Richard explains: “We appreciate that some visitors to the site may be concerned to see so much clearing taking place but it is becoming totally overgrown. The Friends have worked with the Glasgow Geology Group to do some clearing on a voluntary basis, but this new contract which was well received recently by the Victoria Park Placemaking Group will enable a great deal more to be done and we are very pleased that this first step towards improving the gardens around the Fossil Grove is now underway.”
This weekend you can find out all about Victoria Park including its construction, the 19th Century benefactors who helped make it happen, the memorial to the SS Daphne and the beautiful War Memorial erected after WW1. For ninety minute heritage walks will leave from the Jubilee Gates on Victoria Park Drive North at 2pm on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September.
The walks are guided by Friends of Victoria Park as part of Doors Open Day and are free of charge and there is no need to book so please come along.
From 10am to 4pm each day you can also visit the lovely little Partick Curling Pavillion in the park, a beautiful arts and crafts building which houses a collection of old curling stones and has the old curling rink alongside. This area of the park is not usually open to the public but you can enter from Victoria Park Drive North along at the depot area next Saturday and Sunday, 16 and 17 September. Children can participate in curling without ice!
Meanwhile down at the Fossil Grove area, there will be geologists on hand to explain the fossils and the significance of grove and its rocks on Saturday 16th from 10am to 4pm. There will be activities for children at the Fossil Grove too. (The Fossil Grove is generally open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 noon to 4pm until 22 October when it closes for the winter.)
And some advance notice for your diary! On Sunday 8 October the Scottish Geoheritage Festival will take place at the Fossil Grove from 12noon to 4pm.
Our next volunteer day at Victoria Park is on Saturday 9th September at 11am when we need you to come and help us do some late summer tidying.
There is usually a range of tasks, from litter picking to clearing vegetation and weeding.
Wear strong shoes or walking boots to protect your feet and dress for the weather. Gardening gloves can also be useful.
Children are very welcome as long as they come with an adult.
Meet our Chair Richard East between the big pond at the play park at 11am to collect tabards and equipment and agree what what we're going to tackle that day. We will work for a couple of hours but feel free to leave when you need to. It's amazing how much we can get done in a short time!
MUMS, dads, grandparents and everyone with an interest helping our children develop into emotionally and physically healthy adults should head to the Friends of Victoria Park AGM at 7pm on Thursday 15 June in St Thomas Aquinas School.
For this year’s theme focuses on children's wellbeing. Two key speakers on child health and development will provide an insight into their research and the important role parks like Victoria Park and other green spaces can play in helping us raise our children.
Sue Palmer, pictured above, is a former headteacher whose books on literacy and child development include Toxic Childhood, Detoxing Childhood, 21st Century Boys and 21st Century Girls. She is a passionate campaigner who believes less screen time and more time outdoors is critical for child development. “We are in danger of raising a generation of children who have not had the experience they need to make them resilient, socially competent people who are able to assess risks and take decisions. Real play, outdoors wherever possible and involving other children is essential when it comes to raising children.“
Bruce Whyte is the Public Health Programme Manager for the Glasgow Centre for Population Health. Bruce’s current work includes the Glasgow Indicators Project which has been exploring health trends in the city's neighbourhoods. This has looked at how children’s health and social outcomes are affected by their access to green space. Parks are also important for encouraging physical activity in children and tackling obesity. Bruce is also a local resident who as one of the Park Runners on Saturdays, appreciates the benefits of having a great park on his doorstep.
Richard East, Chair of the Friends of Victoria Park explains: ‘We are looking forward to a really interesting evening. Everyone is welcome to hear the speakers at 7pm followed by questions and refreshments by 8pm. Those who wish to can then stay on for the AGM of the Friends when we’ll report on what’s been happening this year and our plans for the year ahead.”
This mummy coot who lives by the small duck pond in the park is keeping a protective eye on her three babies who are doing well.
According to the RSPB site, you can identify the coots as they are all black and larger than their cousins the moorhens and have a distinctive white beak and ‘shield’ above the beak which earns it the title of ‘bald’. The feet have distinctive lobed flats of skin on the toes which act instead of webs when swimming and coots can be quite aggressive towards others. (You can also remember there’s an R in moorhen and adult moorhens have red beaks!)
According to Susan Harris, one of the park’s keen bird enthusiasts who captured this lovely photo, the coots born on the main pond have a much lower chance of survival as they have often been picked off by the gulls. That being said, there were six babies on the main pond yesterday so fingers crossed for this year! Susan has appealed to people to take care when feeding the ducks and avoid throwing food directly at the babies as this makes them more of a target for predators.
Please join our volunteers on Saturday 22 April 2017 at 11am for a Spring Tidy session at the park.
Tasks include clearing up some overgrown areas of the park, litter picking and planting.
Equipment will be provided but if you have items of your own you would like to bring, please do so.
For safety reasons, we advise that you wear stout shoes and dress appropriately for the weather - whatever it's doing that day!
Meet Richard East, the Chairperson of Friends of Victoria Park at the pond area and 11am and we will form small teams for each of the tasks.
Richard explains: "We aim to host four sessions like this a year and I am always astonished at how much a team of people can achieve in a short session of two or three hours. Maintenance budgets for all Glasgow's parks have been badly hit by cuts, and every bit we can do to keep Victoria Park in good order and encourage biodiversity is very important."
The Victoria Park 'Placemaking' consultation organised by Glasgow City Council mentioned in an earlier post culminated with a large group meeting on 30 January 2017 at Scotstoun stadium.
At the end of this meeting, it was proposed the the Dumbarton Road Corridor Environment Trust would help co-ordinate working with the various parties to develop a more comprehensive improvement plan for the park.
The Friends of Victoria Park Committee has supported this proposal. We will participate in this group if it goes ahead and will keep you posted on any developments.
You can view the paperwork related to the Placemaking Exercise here.
You are warmly invited to attend a talk organised by the Friends of Victoria Park on the park's history and work underway with Scotland's Urban Past to preserve this.
The talk will be held on Thursday 23 March 2017 at 7.30pm in the hall at Jordanhill Parish Church on Woodend Drive, Jordanhill.
The speakers include Gillian Mawdsley of the Friends and Nicky Imrie of Scotland's Urban Past.
Local groups are being brought together to develop a shared vision for the development of Victoria Park at a community placemaking event at Scotstoun Leisure Centre on Monday 28 November.
Members of the Friends of Victoria Park Committee will be taking part along with local community councils and other organisations.
The event is being delivered by EKOS consultants on behalf of the council.
This is the latest attempt to secure a better future for the park including the blaes pitches after the council decided that previous consutation exercises were inconclusive.