Lighting Up The Winter Solstice

It’s the taking part that matters at the Friend’s of Parkinson’s Park Lantern Parade,  handcrafts, theatre, music all have a part to play,  not to mention decorating streets and keeping the whole ‘show on (of off as the case may be) the road’.  The 5th Parkinson’s  Park Lantern Parade had all of the above as everyone joined in to light up Guiseley streets for the Winter Solstice and the coming of Christmas, and make a big noise about it.

Children had spent weeks making their individual lanterns, which they proudly paraded,  whilst our special  Guiseley Lanterns depicting Guiseley Wells, de Ward Cross, Theatre Button and Parkinson Clock, emerged out of history to glow once more,  carried by eight strong lantern bearers.

Music included children joining The Sound of the Mills band to improvise on home-made drums (and adults on real ones) to the beat of “where does fabric come from”” the mill”,  whilst at the Town Cross,  Guiseley Brass Band gave the carol singing a warm Yorkshire glow.   This year the Parade was led my Jacob Phillips and friends playing pied pipers in top hat and tails with the seductive call of saxophones.   Then, of course there was the crowd,  joining In the Bleak Mid-Winter, with a dash of Holly and the Ivy and Jingle Bells.

Another successful improvisation this year was decorating the route of the parade – residents on The Birches and Kelcliffe Lane, put out baubles, bunting and tinsel so that bare trees and cold bushes burst into glittering life as if in Narnia – one particular benefit of the bounty of charity shops.    In the Park itself there were three decorated advent trees for people to go and add their own decorations during the season, and especially at midwinter on 21st December.

Safety, was a bigger concern this year.  Terrorist attacks in towns meant that this had to be considered on the risk assessment.  Nine marshalls as well as two PCs, worked in relay to watch out for cars, and keep the road and cross area free.  A ‘bomb’ sweep was done before the parade started in the shadow of the Lily light especially commissioned this year to remember Wendy Fawell who was killed in the Manchester Terrorist attack in May .

Christmas would not be Yule without the plentiful supply of food and drink, and the Paraders indulged in scrummy little buns and mince pies made locally,  whilst The Station helped provide the mulled (non-alcoholic) drink – all served by the Friends.

Improvisation can take a lot of organizing, and the Parade pulls in the skills and time of a wide range of local people all doing something along the way – all the local Churches played a part, along with politicians, mums groups, groups of residents, the Police, local clubs or various kinds, ex Crompton Parkinson staff, photographers, musicians, woodchip layers, shops, community arts group Codswallop and Friends of Parkinson’s Park.  Funding was provided from donations gathered during the year, as well as small donations and grants from local Councillors and Green Leeds.

We’d like to thank everyone for the part they played to making this another successful year, and we look forward to bigger and better next year; so thinking caps on, what can you add to the Parade next year – let us know?

The Friends of Parkinson’s Park wish you a very Happy Christmas and a Good New Year.

Photography from,  Liakat Parapia, Darren Sanderson and Jennifer Kirkby.  More video snippets and pictures on the Parkinson’s Park Facebook page.

 

 

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Posted in Events

Lantern Parade Update

 

Posted in Events

Lantern Parade Route – 2017

Here is the route we will use this year for the Lantern Parade led by our special feature Guiseley Lanterns made by Lucy Phillips. As Kelcliffe Lane has been upgraded, we’ll exit via the Farm Gate – this should be easier and stop the bottle neck at the Oxford Road entrance.

The parade starts off at 4pm prompt from the Park with the lead lanterns and band, but you are welcome to join at any point, or at the Town Cross.  Bring your own lanten to light the way, and if you’d like to ‘play’ in the Sound of the Mills band don’t forget the workshop this Friday at 6.45pm.

Please pick up a carol sheet in the Park, and return it at the end to the FOPP table at the Town Cross.

Some of the resident on the route will be decorating their garden with lights especially for the Parade.

We’ll halt the parade at Kelcliffe Mount for a few minutes to allow for people to cross the road and keep up with the sound of the band.

There will be a number of marshalls in hi-viz jackets to help keep the parade safe – there will also be first aid and a fire blanket available if needed. Speak to a marshall.

We’d ask if all cars parked on the road on the route could be moved elsewhere between 4 and 4.30pm on Sunday 17th. The parade keeps to the pavements and we do not want any damage to either parked cars or participants.

If it is pouring with rain, we’ll move the parade to St Oswald’s church – please keep an eye on our website and Facebook for any updates.

Refreshments will be served at the Town Cross and there will be a collection at the end, which always goes to the next year’s Lantern Parade.

Finally, Darren Sanderson will be taking photos of the parade which we use on the website. If you do not want to be photographed, please tell him on the afternoon.

Posted in Events

Improvements to Kelcliffe Lane

Not quite in Parkinson’s Park, but it plays a role in the setting.  So we are pleased that repairs and improvements have been done over the last few weeks along Kelcliffe Lane,  from the top of Oxford Avenue to Nursery Road.

In times gone by this used to be a cobbled lane – originally made into a cart track around 1708.  There are people who remember that you could drive a car along it all the way from Kelcliffe Avenue to Nursery Road in the 1950’s.   However, in recent years it has fallen increasingly into disrepair, with parts of it becoming so muddy and slippery it was hard to walk, and in other areas large puddles appearing in ruts.

The lane was repaired in part by the Council a couple of years ago, but a large section near the Park’s Farm Gate soon became rutted again due to poor drainage.   The recent repairs have been organized and paid for by some of the local residents along the track with a contribution also made by the ward Councillors.   Leeds City Council supplied some of the materials, but the contractor this time was a private company who have paid some attention to the drainage conditions.   So, we need to keep fingers crossed that this will work.

Many of the residents on the Hillside end of the lane are very pleased that they can now take children to school, and walk to Guiseley along the lane in winter.

The task next year will be to see if we can get the Council to clear up the lower part of Kelcliffe Lane, where the nettles are almost completely over growing the area in parts.  There were promises for something to be done this year, but this has not materialised.

With the repairs done we will be able to use Kelcliffe Lane for the start of our Lantern Parade on 17th December.  That should solve the issue of the ‘bottleneck’ through the Oxford Road gate, and save any possible damage to cars parked along the small track.

A thank you to everyone who has contributed to this improvement.

Posted in Facilities

Making Music At The Lantern Parade

As usual we will be having ‘music’ to accompany the lanterns down from the Park to the Cross on Sunday.   This year we hope to make it even bigger and better with both musical instruments as well as the Sound of the Mills Percussion Band beating out the rhythm.

If you’d like to join in the Sound of the Mills Band for the parade, there is a workshop on Friday evening to learn the beat, between 6.45 -7.30pm at Guiseley Baptist Church.  The workshop is being run for us by community arts company Codswallop.  Booking not necessary, just turn up.

When we get to the cross,  Guiseley Brass Band will be working their usual magic; not forgetting the community singing.

Posted in Events

Pond Dipping Platform

Open Country Installation Team

A Pond Dipping Platform has been installed by the side of the Bog Garden.  Funds were donated via a grant from Green Leeds Limited and Open Country installed it. 

As the Garden starts to settle and fill up with plants we hope that it will develop its bogginess – Open Country have worked hard during 2017 to try to ensure the right conditions, whilst some of the Friends have worked hard to keep the plants watered during dry periods.

Posted in Ecology

Advent in the Park 2017

The Advent Tree – or three trees this year are now started in the Park for you to add your own decorations during the coming weeks.   Thanks go to all those who came to help, and dressed for the occasion.

Woodchipping has also been put on the paths around the area we use for the Lantern Parade to make walking a little easier.  This was paid for this year by a grant from Green Leeds Ltd.

The lantern making workshop last Saturday went well and a total of 21 lanterns were made.  We’d like to thank Lucy, Lynn and Jacob from Codswallop for organizing that.  The lanterns should look good during the Lantern Parade on 17th December.

Don’t forget the percussion workshop on 15th December, 6.45pm at Guiseley Baptist Church for all those who would like to ‘bang the drum aka dustbin lid’ during the parade.

We’d like to thank all the Lantern Parade leaflet distributors for going in such cold weather last week to deliver the leaflets.

Posted in Events