With funding from the LTA, the Council resurfaced the Tennis Court. New fencing was installed around the basketball area.
After a 2 year break, Carols in the Park returned with great weather as well. Some changes made due to Covid-19 concerns – moving the band to the Tennis Court quadrant, having a Santa Trail instead of a Santa’s grotto were popular and may be retained for future Carols.
The Friends organised an event for the school holidays – Halloween in the Park. A Spooky trail, tombola, games, refreshments and a wandering Mummy (the wrapped up kind) provided a great day out.
The Heatons Men in Sheds lent their talents and replaced the noticeboard cover, which had become clouded over time.
After an 20 month absence because of the pandemic, the Friends returned to the park with a new family event – Picnic in the Park. This owl-themed event was all the more welcome as the Summer Festival was unable to run due to the pandemic. Visitors brought their own picnics and enjoyed the fresh air. Lots to do – an owl trail, a contest to name the owl in the toddler play area and a raffle for a smaller version of the park owl.
Drainage had long plagued the Football quadrant. The council took action and dug a soakaway in the Wild Corner (Buckingham Road and Park Road). This helped keep the path from being a pond during the subsequent rains.
The council provided the toddler area new play equipment and a new surface.
Despite the pandemic restrictions, the Friends commissioned an owl to be carved from a tree stump remaining in the toddler play area. A magnificent carving, it was named in 2021 as HARRIS in a community competition.
Even though most of the country was in lockdown, Heaton Moor Park received its own blue plaque. It commemorates Thomas Shann, who brought the Park into existence in 1897 from the land donated by Lord Egerton in 1894. The plaque is sited at the Peel Moat entrance.
The Covid-19 pandemic landed in the UK, and the usual Easter Egg Hunt, Summer Fair, Carols events, Garden in the Park Days were cancelled. Like everyone else, the Friends discovered Zoom and continued meetings on a virtual basis.
Bags of crocus, daffodil and snowdrop bulbs were planted in the Football and Tennis Court quadrants.
The Heatons Men in Sheds rejuvenated the cable railings along the Woodland Walk, repaired the posts in the Toddler Area and renewed the Fascia in the pavilion,
The Friends gave a farewell party to Pauline Randall and Edward Thorpe on their move to the Lake District. They were responsible for developing the Woodland Walk and the new layout of the Tennis Court quadrant. Often seen selling chestnuts roasting from an open fire in the Carols in the Park events, they also were key in writing successful grant applications and organised many productive Garden in the Park days.
The Friends received grant funding to replace the somewhat dilapidated Pavilion kitchen units, replace the flooring and heaters and re-decorate the walls.
Due to budget cuts, the council severely cut back horticultural services to the park. To help close this gap, the Friends commissioned work by a professional gardener twice a month. This uses around £2,000 of our Funds each year.
John and Carol Yeomans, who had been started the original Park Action Group and contributed massively to the success of the Friends of Heaton Moor park, decided to take their retirement years elsewhere and left the Heaton Moor area. They were passionate about the park and supported with unstinting energy and generosity the efforts of the Friends to secure the future and beauty of this very special park.
A yew hedge was planted in the flower bed along the path leading from Peel Moat Road.
Free running fitness sessions for all ages and abilities started in Heaton Moor Park on 19th January 2013, taking place every Saturday at 11am for one hour. The sessions are delivered by Chris Hodkinson who is a qualified Run England / UK Athletics Run Group Leader.
The Knitting Friends donated two obelisks to the park.
The weekly t.stop cafe started to serve a wonderful range of cakes and drinks at the pavilion and this continued into 2015.
The Friends get social with a Facebook page and a Twitter account.
Fundraising through elevenes cake sales at the regular Friday Knitting Friends gathering enabled the group to donate a bench to the park, which is located outside the bowling pavilion.
This year saw the Friends provide the funds for the addition of 7 new benches, 3 birch trees, summer and winter bedding and spring bulbs around the park, along with shrubs and plants for the circular bed.
Posts and chains were added to access paths to the bowling green.
SK Solutions stopped providing gate locking services. In response, the Friends organised the locking and unlocking of the 4 gates on a rota system, with the help of local residents. This continued until 2016.
The funding for this addition to the park came from the Friends and from the Heatons and Reddish Area Committee and is a welcome addition to the park used specifically for Friends news and information.
The Green Flag Award Scheme was launched in 1996 and provides a benchmark for the best green spaces in the country. Any spaces that are open to the public and free to enter are eligible to apply.SMBC made an appliction for this award to the Park with support from the Friends of Heaton Moor Park. Heaton Moor Park was awarded the Green Flag in September 2011.
The knitting group started life in August 2011 and continues to meet weekly in the pavilion throughout the year, on Fridays between 10:00 and 12:00.
Refreshments are provided for a small donation to support of the Friends of Heaton Moor Park.
Friends of Heaton Moor Park opened a website to offer information about the park and the future of this much loved green space. www.heatonmoorpark.co.uk
The rockery at the Elms Road gate was completed over several work days.
Work began in January 2010 on a new tennis court, a picnic area and ball play facility. The replacement of railings (taken down during WWII) was finally completed, with funds secured by Friends of Heaton Moor Park. This had taken 18 months and much hard work fundraising led by Pauline Randall, with support from SMBC.
Funds were received from the following sources:
Groundwork Community Spaces (Big Lottery)
Foundation for Sport and the Arts
Manchester Airport Community Trust Fund
Rotary Club of Stockport Lamplighter
SMBC Reddish and 4 Heatons Flexibility Fund
SMBC developers commuted sums
Local hero and NBA basketball player John Amaechi officially opened these facilities on 1st May 2010.
Friends of Heaton Moor Park obtained funding from BBC Breathing Places for the development of a Woodland Walk in the wooded area of the Clover Leaf Quadrant. In August 2008, landscape architects Randall Thorp began work on one of their company Team Days. After a series of intense workdays, the Woodland Walk was completed in 2009. It incorporates a bulb area, bird nesting boxes and specially carved wooden sculptures.
Despite securing £40,000 to support the planning necessary to make a bid for £1.2 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the group found out in September 2008 that they had not been successful in their second attempt. However, efforts immediately turned to fundraising and putting together plans and applications for work on the tennis court quadrant.
An application to the Heritage Lottery Fund was resubmitted, aiming for full restoration of Heaton Moor Park.
As a result of campaigning and representation from the Friends, Tom Kay was appointed as Community Parks Officer at Heaton Moor Park. This was the first time the park had dedicated local authority presence since the cuts of the 1980s.
After further fund raising, railings and gates to be installed around two quadrants of the park. Some paths were also restored.
The group was successful in gaining grants from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Living Spaces, Manchester Airport Community Trust Fund, as well as matched funding from SMBC. This enabled the group to build a toddler play area on the site of the old greenhouse. The play area officially opened 5 September 2004.
Due to a lack of funding, a decision was made to cease the high level of maintenance required to keep the Clover Leaf Green as a usable bowling green.
Friends of Heaton Moor Park applied for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant which would allow for total renovation of park facilities and landscaping. Unfortunately the application was not put forward by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council.
The Grant was awarded to clear the derelict base of the old greenhouse. Three more years of fundraising ensued to raise money to build the Toddler Play Area in this quadrant of the park.
Despite the efforts of The Friends, the parks tennis courts fell into disuse due to a lack of nets; and benches, walls and other fittings in the park fell into decline and disrepair through vandalism and wear.
Surveys showed peoples aspirations for the existing tennis and bowls provision to be supplemented by childrens play areas, new park railings, seats, flowers and a management presence.
Heaton Moor Park Action Group became The Friends of Heaton Moor Park.
In July of this year, The Friends held a centenary celebration in the park to mark the 100 years that the park had been enjoyed by local residents.
This would be the first of many events held by the group at the park, including an annual Carols in the Park event and summer fair.
The HMPAG held their first workday, pruning and clearing overgrown shrubs, planting bulbs and greenery.
A group of local residents, disillusioned by the minimal maintenance of the park and the anti-social behaviour it was attracting, formed The Heaton Moor Park Action Group (HMPAG), with the aim of restoring the park to its former glory.
Following a lack of maintenance, and eventually vandalism and disrepair, the parks greenhouse an emblem of the horticultural oasis the park had once been was demolished.
Local Government reorganisation increased the administrative area and duties of Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, and shortly afterwards Compulsory Competitive Tendering was introduced. This had a major effect on the way the park was maintained.
Stockport Council won Britain in Bloom for Heaton Moor Park. At this time the park shared the services of 4 permanent gardeners with local schools.
The Wellington Veterans bowling club was founded, followed by a ladies bowling club 8 years later.
The parks playing field was dug up and used for growing vegetables. The iron railings which marked the parks perimeter were taken down to support the wartime drive for scrap metal.
Sir Thomas Thornhill Shann died. He played a key role in the development and upkeep of the flourishing park.
An OS map published showed the park as well established, with bowling greens, tennis courts, a green house, fish pond and even a drinking fountain.
The park’s playground was used by the Heaton Moor Home Defence Corps for drilling.
Also popular sports of the time, tennis courts and a croquet lawn were built.
Following several requests for bowling facilities, a bowling green was opened in 1903.
The local Recreation Grounds Committee met to view the piece of land that would become Heaton Moor Park. The land was a gift from local landowner and philanthropist Lord Egerton.
Plans were produced and a successful application was made to the local government for funding to build the park. The local authority began work on the park.
In 1894, Lord Egerton of Tatton donated approximately 4 acres of land to Heaton Norris District Council. The land was placed into a charitable trust for the free use and enjoyment of the public for play, pleasure and recreation. This became Heaton Moor Park and the official opening took place on 17 July 1897 to coincide with Queen Victoria’s diamon d jubilee celebrations.
Over the next few years, the park developed into an attractive open space for local residents providing for their enjoyment: two bowling greens, three tennis courts, a croquet lawn, formal flower beds, a bandstand, a greenhouse and a pavilion.
THE PARK LAND ITSELF
Little is known about the area of land where Heaton Moor Park now stands. An OS map detailing the proposed site of the park shows an area of open land, thought to be part of a large moor or heath. Heaton Moor at this time was surrounded by open fields and farmland – a far cry from the the built up suburb we know today.