Friends of Dartmouth Park, West Bromwich
Patron: 10th Earl of Dartmouth
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Trip to Lacock blessed with stunning weather


On a sunny 21st June the Friends visited the beautiful village of Lacock in Wiltshire. We had a leisurely day enjoying the village used in many TV programmes. There were also lovely places to eat and drink which is a priority for the group.

Lacock Abbey
 in the village was founded in the early 13th century as a nunnery and remained so until in the 16th century when it was sold to  Sir William Sharington who converted the convent into a residence where he and his family lived. It was fortified and remained loyal to the crown during the Civil War, but surrendered to the Parliamentary forces once Devizes had fallen in 1645.

The house later passed into the hands of the Talbot family, and during the 19th century was the residence of Wiliam Henry Fox Talbot. In 1835 he made what may be the earliest surviving photographic camera negative, an image of one of the windows.

In 1944 artist Matilda Theresa Talbot gave the house and the surrounding village of Lacock to the National Trust. The abbey houses the Fox Talbot Museum, devoted to the pioneering work of William Talbot in the field of photography. The Trust markets the abbey and village together as "Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum & Village".

Below some photos of the group enjoying themselves.

I don't know what Annette had done to be put in the stocks!!

 

Wow what a wonderful afternoon the Friends had at Sandwell Park Farm to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee

A big thank you to Helen and the Tea Room staff at Sandwell Park Farm for making our Queen's Jubilee event so special. The room was beautifully decorated and the food and service were first class.

We were entertained by Ian Casey and his side kick Kenny who sang songs covering the 70 years of the Queen's reign. We had a rousing singalong session with many of our favourite songs and ended with Sweet Caroline which was voted best song by Radio 2 Listeners.

The photographs below give a snapshot of the event.

 

 

Visit to Tissington and Ashbourne

The weather report had promised rain and it was certainly correct on Tuesday 31 May. However, there were bright spells and we enjoy our day in Derbyshire. It was a pleasure to drive through the beautiful countryside rather than join a motorway.

When we arrived in Tissington the rain was quite heavy, but after light refreshments in the Tea Room the sun came out.

The Well Dressing was a delight, as you can see from the examples below, and Tissington is a lovely village to explore. Yvonne seems to be having trouble with her umbrella and Betty and Sandra are enjoying their walk around the village.

 

The Park on a beautiful day in May
Photographs taken by Raman

 

Our beautiful Park has been awarded
Arboretum Status
We are proud to announce Dartmouth Park now has official Arboretum status. This has been given to the Park by Arbnet, the network of worldwide arboreta run by top US based Morton Arboretum

The Friends celebrated by inviting the MP for West Bromwich East, Nicola Richards and Cllr Laura Rollins, to help plant a Monterey Cypress tree in the Arboretum. Friends committee member, Annette Welch, who has been instrumental in obtaining this award, also helped plant the tree. We were delighted that we made front page news in the Express & Star.

 

 

 
The volunteer gardeners were visited in the Park by a Councillor, a team of Photography students from Sandwell College and two volunteers who had come to say goodbye as they were moving to Aylesbury

Cllr Steve Melia joined the garden volunteers to record the new benches paid for with the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)Grant.

This is a group of photography students from Sandwell College who are taking photographs of the park through the seasons.
Isla has been our youngest volunteer. She’s been coming to the park with her mother Lucy. Unfortunately they have had to say goodbye as her father has moved to Aylesbury with his job.

 

Remembrance Sunday in Dartmouth Park

The Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands, Gurpreet Bhatia, attended the event and took the Armed Forces Salute as they left the Park. The Service of Remembrance was led by Rev Philip Thomas and the poem "Lest We Forget" was read by a school girl.

The Park was crowded with people of all ages paying their respects to those who lost there lives in the two world wars and other conflicts.

 

The Kohima Epitaph

"When you go home
tell them of us and say,
for your tomorrow
we gave our today".

 

The Beavers from the Blue Ribbon plant
wild daffodils in the Park

 

The volunteer gardeners enjoyed a morning of training with Miriam on Friday 12 November. Miriam is a highly experienced gardener who made many improvements when she worked in Dartmouth Park for six months.

 

The Friends Group pay tribute to the members of the
Armed Forces, who have lost their lives in many conflicts across the world, at the rose bed they planted in their honour.

The bed of red roses has looked splendid over the summer months, but looks rather sad in November.

 

Halloween Event in the Pavilion on Saturday 30 October
 

 

Anita Randhawa’s son, Neev, chose to help the environment rather than have a conventional birthday party. His friends joined him today to plant wild daffodil bulbs in the park

 

Friends organise a pantomine for the children during the half term with the help of the National Lottery.
As you can see from the photographs FunTime Theatre were a great success with the children and the adults.

 

New Benches starting to appear in the Park
Today, 5 October, the first of our new benches were installed in the Park.

The Friends have been active in raising funds to replace benches in the Park with sturdier benches which cannot be vandalized.  We have also had many members who have paid for new benches.  The challenge to replace more benches continues.

 


Great Day out to Hereford and
The Laskett Garden
on 14 September

 

 

Our first outing this year was to Powis Castle
Sunn

Stunning weather, fabulous Castle and Grounds, plus of course good food from the cafe - perfect for our first Friends of Dartmouth Park outing this year.
A few photographs below tell the story of the day.

 

 

Sandwell Visually Impaired Group check out the new Interpretation Board in the
Sensory Garden

Sandra Troth, Development Worker, and other visually impaired members and helpers, came into the Park on Thursday 27 May to visit the new Interpretation Board in the Sensory Garden which has a braille panel to help them enjoy the garden.

Sandra said the group are looking for local people who might want to walk around the Park with someone blind or visually impaired, or even do other things with them like shopping or visiting places of interest.

Committee members and Volunteer Gardeners joined the group for the unveiling.

The Interpretation Board was financed by Sandwell Council.

 

Sandra checks out the braille panel with Chris, Jenny, Yvonne, Mike and Selwyn looking on to see whether she finds it useful. Mike and Selwyn have both worked on the stand for the Interpretation Panel to ensure it was in pristine condition.

 

The sun shone on the Voluteer Gardeners in the Park on Friday 7 May. I had great difficulty getting them to pose as they were more interested in their gardening tasks. Unfortunately two of the gardeners were too far away for me to get them to join in the photoshoot. There were 14 gardeners in total working to make the Park a beautiful place to visit and enjoy.

 

Honouring the life of the
Duke of Edinburgh
on the day of his funeral
The Federation of Birmingham Ex-Service Association came to the Park on the 17 April to pay their respects to the Duke of Edinburgh.
The photographer was Peter Lloyd