5 Oct 2012

Oasis for The Arts Planned for Northenden

There will be a meeting on Wed 10th Oct at 7.30pm at the Northenden Methodist Church, Victoria Road to publicise plans for what sounds like an exciting project!
In their press release they say,

An oasis for for the arts and culture is being planned for Northenden.

The Northenden Methodist Church has issued an open invitation for all to attend a meeting about plans to renovate the 150 year old building into a state of the art theatre and venue for cultural, dance and music events.  “This is a fantastic opportunity for the people of Northenden to have their say as to how we can best preserve the history of the building and for them to tell us what facilities and events they would like to see in the future” says Church Minister and Chair of Wythenshawe David Brown.
Nigel Machin of AEW Architects has volunteered his time and skills to revise the building's internal layout. A new theatre, seating 96 people, dressing and rehearsal rooms will be built to the the rear of the church. His plans will also transform the Church Hall into a modern bright and airy space, a mezzanine floor will create a space for multi-purpose use by clubs and groups, along with a separate refurbished area for worship.”This project could be the flagship for Churches across the country” says Nigel Machin” Many Churches are sadly no longer in use, this project would place the Northenden Church in the heart of the community”.

 Along with a presentation by the architect of his plans and a model of the proposed  internal layout, there will be the opportunity to discuss the activities and events people would like to see at the new venue.

An exciting prospect! Their website containing more information about this, and other local projects is at www.woasis.org.uk

25 Jun 2012

AGM last Tuesday!

Although attendance was a little bit light since there was another attraction - the England football game  - we had a successful AGM!

We elected a new committee for the year;
Gwyneth Lloyd continues as Chair - thanks for doing this,
Papa Andoh-Kweku continues as Vice-Chair
Anna Bunney as Treasurer
Amy Carline will act as Secretary and Minutes Sec, with Sandra Bracegirdle stepping down - thanks to Sandra for her work and to Amy for taking over, continuing
Joan Mycock Membership Sec
Dave Wilson, Lynne Oldfield, Conor Jerram and Mary diMauro continue and we welcomed Fran Shone to the committee

Our Chair reported on the year and we talked about things we might want to do this year.

Dave Bishop, the Chair of the Friends of Chorlton Meadows gave us a highly interesting talk on the plant life in the Mersey Valley. I hadn't realised the range of diversity and how interesting the plant life is. I was particularly taken by the historical background of local naturalists documenting the local flora and by his hypotheses about the origins of some of the flora.

Now we just need to arrange our next committee meeting to start to plan for the year and, I hope, to follow up some of the ideas which were provoked by Dave Bishop. Thanks so much to him for coming to talk to us.

9 Jun 2012

The river level!

Even though I was kept slightly awake by heavy persistent rain on my roof window in the early hours of Saturday I was not prepared to see the river level so high this morning when I went out to buy my newspaper!

The weir was totally washed out with large quantities of debris floating down the river. I glanced at the
Environment Agency river levels data for Northenden Weir this afternoon which confirmed that the level had risen very quickly overnight! I imagine that they will at least be considering opening the sluice gates at Stenner Woods in Didsbury to reduce the level.

8 Jun 2012

Friends Group AGM 2012

This year's AGM is on Tuesday 19th June at St Wilfrid's Church Hall, Ford Lane, Northenden

The AGM will start at 7.30pm with the formal business of reporting back on the year and electing a new committee.

After a short break for tea and biscuits we are pleased to welcome Dave Bishop, chair of the Friends of Chorlton Meadows, who will talk to us for about 3/4 of an hour about natural life in the Mersey Valley.
We are looking forward to this as it should be highly interesting and informative, as well as stimulating us to get more involved with the plant and wild life in our area.

14 May 2012

Yet more spring sightings!

A glorious walk upstream to Fletcher Moss yesterday, for tea and cake, yet again!
And we saw a small flock of swallows for the first time this year. This made me think that I'd made a good selection of a photo for this blog!
There was also a kestrel swooping over the river near Simon's Bridge.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

8 May 2012

Friends of Chorlton Meadows: Grey to Green Taster Session, Chorlton Ees

Friends of Chorlton Meadows: Grey to Green Taster Session, Chorlton Ees Sat 2nd June!

Bird watching!

When I started this blog an wrote an initial review of our year's activities I did not anticipate writing another so soon, however Spring it seems is here.

On Friday morning (4th May) I saw some chicks for the first time this year. They were 2 Canada Geese goslings being shepherded carefully by a pair of adults, presumably their parents, from the island below the weir and up the left side of the weir to the pool above. When we went for a brief walk yesterday (7th May) the family was in the same area.
On our walk upstream to Fletcher Moss and back we saw 2 herons fishing from the banks. A goosander flew over our heads at one stage which reminded me that I hadn't seen one for quite a few weeks now. At one stage I saw a small group, mixed male and female, of up to 7 almost every morning.
 In the last few days I have had several sightings of herons around the weir.

When I sat down to write this I noticed that on the Friends of Chorlton Meadows blog Dave Bishop has written a post about the importance of appreciating and recording wildlife and a forthcoming event at Chorlton Ees on Sat 2nd June. You can read more about this on their blog - see my next brief post for a link!

3 May 2012

A report

12 months work!

During the last year the committee has continued to work hard.
We started to go to the park about once a month to do some gardening – essentially a bit of tidying and a lot of weeding together with adding to the planting.
We have also been trying to find a way to keep the public toilets open for at least a few occasions – such as after school on nice days and when there are events, small or large in the park. This has proved difficult. Although MCC has been very cooperative, and indeed offered us a small grant to support us, they want us to take over total responsibility for the block which is something the we feel we don't have the resources to do – a shame as we put a great deal of our energies into this.
We were also given a grant by MCC for some improvements to the play area. In the late autumn a small slide was added to the clambering boulders as a part of this. We should also be able to replace the hammock which was vandalised and to add a carriage to the play train.
Distracted, perhaps, by the toilets project we only began to pay attention to the state of the play area surface in the last few months. We are trying to work with South Manchester Leisure to deal with this. The surface has deteriorated so that whilst the top surface is still smooth and clear the bouncy foam under this has become solid in parts. It is only 3 years old and we don't think that this should have happened so quickly.
A little while ago some of us started an oral history project. After a hiatus we were stimulate by having a stall in March 2012 at the Manchester Histories Festival we revisited our presentations of the project and have just placed these on an Oral History section of our website. I hope that it is interesting.
We are holding our annual AGM on Tuesday 19th June at 19.30 in St. Wilfrid's Church Hall. We are working on final arrangements for this and hope to have some interesting talks by speakers about the plants of the Mersey Valley and concerns about Manchester's open spaces and parks. I'll post more details, and a reminder, nearer the date! Please come along to support us and to become involved in our small group.
Although we have had a website from our inception keeping a running blog with up to date information is something which we have only just started (April 2012).