On Friday 8 September, 25 local residents enjoyed stepping back in time with Dr Andy Brockman.
Our subject matter was: Front Line Park: Shrewsbury Park in the 20th Century Including the LCC Open Air School and defence of London.
After meeting by the car park, we visited the area where the open air school had it’s buildings, and saw photographs of the school in action. We were able to view documents that described how the children were selected, educated and monitored, turning out healthier and well nourished pupils back to their homes.
Strolling back through to the car park with Andy, we saw clearly where the barrage balloons were tethered. We learnt how these were used in the foiling of enemy aircraft, driving them away from bombing targets.
We were told a few interesting (and funny) stories about how this all worked, which Andy had taken from some testimonies of local people at the time.
Andy expertly brought to life these amazing past events and fielded questions as we went along. Ending up at Shrewsbury House, there were more artifacts to look at, as well as a very welcome Friday evening beverage or two.
We look forward to our next foray into local history!
Many sincere thanks to Barclays Bank, Canary Wharf branch, and to 10th Royal Eltham Scouts for there brilliant and cheerful efforts clearing habitat areas in the Park on Friday 28 July.
Ruby Shand, master organiser of both groups, brought her crews to help FSP volunteers cut saplings and brambles in the meadow ready for late summer mowing, spread woodchips on the Dothill path and then pile the cuttings for the Rangers to pick up. The Scouts uncovered the thriving hedgerow their members planted 4 years ago, an annual effort
Super teamwork, everyone! And we look forward to their next visit, we’re taking you up on that generous offer!
And an extra thank you to the passing spontaneous volunteer named Peter, who lent his time and barrow skills for a couple hours!
Our 2023 Festival didn’t disappoint! Great music, great stalls and most important of all our fantastic local community came out in their droves – we estimate we had around 500 people attending over the course of the afternoon. We are so grateful for your support – this is the reason the committee put in the work – thank you for making it amazing!
And an extra thank you to the current Committee members: Sandra, Iris, Zena, Ron and Alan who spent many an hour planning and troubleshooting to put the event together. Can’t leave out the trusty core volunteers who turn up for set-up and take-down and always with a smile. – Kris, Chair
And thumbs up to Greenwich Parks Forum for their support and the Greenwich Borough Park Rangers who made sure the site was clean and clear, before and after.
If you have any of your own photos of the 2 July to add, please send them to email@example.com
We had a fantastic time at the Friends of Shrewsbury Park Quiz last night, at Shrewsbury House!
Our fantastic Quizmasters, Dee and Geoff tested our general knowledge to the max. From Shrewsbury House Community Centre‘s resident Improshrews, we enjoyed Erik and John playing out scenes from comedy shows through the ages!
On Saturday 13 May, we gathered to discover what edible delights the park has to offer! Experienced, self-taught, and local forager, Kevin Godby from GCDA led us around the park, introducing us to lots of plants, bushes and trees that have edible parts.
Kevin had a great list of tips to share, including not foraging at a low level, to avoid contamination, never consuming too much of one kind of forage, being mindful of the time of year and ripeness of plants. As a general rule of thumb, younger seeds, buds and leaves are juicier and tastier!
We look forward to welcoming Kevin back to the park in another season to learn more!
The Dawn Chorus walk was a magic experience, once we all rolled into the park to meet Tim, our leader, for the 5am start.
We heard several species vying for attention, and the parakeets didn’t interfere too much. We could hear the tiny firecrests in the open area of the woods on the bird ID app but while everyone searched to see them, a sparrowhawk was spotted! The pair are nesting in a tall tree maybe 25 m into the woods from the small field. And then the female caught something for breakfast bringing reality of the natural world into focus.
Many thanks to Tim. And to Karen who captured the sparrowhawk on her camera.
In case you haven’t been in the park in the last week, go up the path for between the old and the new allotments and soak up the hawthorne blossom tunnel.
And the bird app mentioned is called MERLIN, free and easy to use on your phone.
Held in Shrewsbury House – Present: 15 members, with 3 apologies
Chairperson, Kris Inglis began the meeting with thanks to those attending. Our local speaker and Dothill allotment holder, Dr Philippa Mason, gave a fascinating talk about the geology under our feet on Shooters Hill and beyond. She is a senior lecturer in Planetary Remote Sensing at Imperial College London but presented very ’down to earth’ explanations of local features and their evolution over billions of years. FACT: The Thames was a glacial river and its glacial tributaries running down the hill became the sites of our oldest woodlands.
A lively Q&A followed and we hope to hear more from Dr Mason in future
Arising matters from last meeting:
Local Councillor involvement is increasing slowly with the help of Parks Forum
Signage, permanent and temporary, is being pursued by Committee
Idea about having an outdoor cinema isn’t feasible without a power source
Improving links with Shrewsbury House, event by event
Retaining wall along Plum Lane fixed
Management Committee was introduced and thanked for their efforts as we became more active again post-Covid. This has always been a volunteer position determined by individuals’ interest and time available. Officers are decided by the MC once elected at the AGM. You can volunteer to join the Committee at any time by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Our dear friend and longstanding Treasurer Sonja O’Sullivan passed on in October. We now need a competent bookkeeper/treasurer to take up the position. They will have help from an aspiring assistant to share the load. This is an URGENT need coming into 2023 so please consider serving in this capacity.
All current members agreed to stand and were elected by members present.
Planned events so far:
Dec 3 – Daffodil bulb planting (had to be postponed until Jan/Feb)
1 April – Bird Walk with Tim Rymer
30 April – Dog Show and related activities (postponed from Summer Festival)
Agreement to fund a commemorative bench or plaque for Sonja -tbc
17 February – Barclays Bank volunteer maintenance day along with 10th Royal Eltham Scouts participation
Plans in progress are Foraging Walk, Bat Walk, Military History Walk, Quiz in May, Summer Festival, habitat and wildlife surveys (we need more interested volunteers to join a core group).
All the events and activities in the park need time and effort from as many members as possible to embrace the whole community, including youngsters, to learn and be involved in this vital space. We have over 400 members on the mailing list… and would like to know that everyone feels part of Shrewsbury Park, using it happily, safely and wisely.
Please consider any contribution of hands-on help or ideas you could offer in the new year.
The calendar was rested this year because of slow sales and lack of new entries
Request that nature camera footage to be posted more often on website
Tawny Owl box still waiting for installation
Agreed regular chippings of Dothill paths twice a year -in the works
Yogathon organiser to be approached for 2023
Suggestion of Easter Egg Hunt – any volunteers?
We wish everyone a very joyful holiday season and healthy new year.
We’re past the winter solstice so it’s getting lighter towards spring already!
Thank you for caring for and supporting your Park
The FSP Management Committee
Catch up on all that’s been happening in your Park
Share your thoughts and ideas for the coming year
Meet the Management Committee – vote for 2023 team
Current MC in alphabetical order: Sandra Bauer, Alan Deacon, Dino Fielding, Kris Inglis, Zena Marshall, Ron Senkus, Irene Telfer and Iris White.
Our guest speaker is Dr Philippa Mason, a senior lecturer in Planetary Remote Sensing, Imperial College – and local allotmenteer – who will bring a new perspective on the geology of SE London and how Shooters Hill fits into the landscape.
FSP greeting cards and merchandise available to buy
Formed in 2006, the Friends of Shrewsbury Park encourage the use of Shrewsbury Park and support the development of facilities for recreation, education and amenities for local people and to encourage a sense of community around the park.