History of The Group
In 2008 the group received a plaque for their help with St Thomas’s and being active members of the community. At the end of 2008 sadly both Sally Ann Wright and Nikki Freeman both announced they were stepping down and moving on to different things.
AGM Sally Ann Wright (Chair) Nikki Freeman (Secretary) Stephen Briscoe
(Treasurer) Janet Wimlett (Vice Chair) Jeremy Westley (Parkwatch)
• Bike Day and other events held on an annual basis
• Trip rail around the whole park
• New Barriers
• Completion of the park masterplan
• New play area
• New benches
• New Multi games area
• Developing Grazebrook Park
• St Thomas’s games
• Park watch
In 2001 there were concerns amongst residents living around the park about the presence of gangs and youths who had taken over the park, and also about the lack of play facilities. Also at the top end of the park where the old greenhouses had been previously situated, the site had been turned into a rubbish dump. Residents who’s houses backed onto the dump complained of rats as big as cats in some cases. Local councillors set up a meeting for local people to air their views. The meeting was packed. Four local residents volunteered to set up the group.
The first AGM was held in June of the same year. Chris Gammon (Chair) Own
Nettleford (Secretary) Stephen Briscoe (Treasurer) Sally Ann Wright (Vice
Chair) the groups impact was immediate:-
• Bushes around the out side of the park cutback
• Benches moved from troubled areas
• Story time session aimed at young children and mothers
• Instrumental in attracting Sure Start to build their new family on the
• £5000 for a master plan.
The success of the group was getting noticed Borough wide. Dudley MBC
were keen to use the groups model to attract funding for the rest of the
Boroughs Parks from the government. A hand full of new groups started up
and founded the Friends of the park forum.The forum is still going strong
today giving local communities a say about their local parks .
Towards the end of 2001 Chris Gammon announced he was stepping down as chairman and then Owen Nettleford followed.
The Friends Mission has always been to improve the facilities on the park and make it accessible to ALL members of the community and that mission still continues.