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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Queens Park Friends Meeting



The meeting was poorly attended maybe the dark cold night had something to do with it.

It was an interesting meeting with presentations by Lost Arts who are doing the Bandstand. We were shown the new design for the Cafe and Bowling club. Its hoped this can go before planning before Xmas and then tenders can be sought in the new year with work starting in March time.

One exiting piece of news is that the play area has been brought forward due to complaints and the horse and spider falling apart. Designed by children it will be divided into two areas one for very young children and one for older children. Its hoped it will be ready for easter next year so thats good new all round and it shows the council do take notice of people.

Its still hoped that the lake will be finished by March next year and open to the public at long last but some paths will have to be closed in the future for new paths to go in.
Chairmans report

Lake and Bridge Works (Tolent Construction)
Tolent have been on site for 11 wks following acceptance of their tender.
There has been a 6 day delay due to bad weather.
The Tolent site will close at Xmas from 18th Dec for 2 wks.
Works have focused on lake edges and islands plus preparations for bridge abutments and foundations etc.

The Inlet Bridge at the Tipkinder end of the lake is the first bridge to go in and it will arrive on site Tue / Wed next week, preparation works are ongoing.

All Lake Inlet walls have been repaired and repointed.
Gabion baskets all around the Burma Star Island to be faced with stone blocks. A stone sample has been agreed.

East and West Island walls have been completed but may be raised to allow fluctuations in water levels.
Works to modify bridge abutments are underway.

Broadwalk Bridge works on site for 3 days next week. This will be the last and largest bridge to be positioned estimate end of Feb. Footpath links will need to go in to facilitate all bridges.
Coronation Bridge - Completion is expected by the end of January - together with Burma Star Bridge.

Problem areas:
• Access roads require improving.
• Weather implications.
• Design modifications and approvals.
• Correction of Wrekin works where required.

Slight slippage of works largely due to discoveries on site and additional higher quality finishes which have been agreed. Matching of sandstone to closely match the original has been very successful.
A detailed update and explanation of how these structures are restored will be given by Domenic of Lost Art. The completion date will now be end of January 2010.
NB. Ian will be providing a detailed update on the Lake and Bridge works and progress with the bandstand.

Rocking horse and spider's web removed due to safety implications see above.
An exciting consultation took place involving the Sir William Stanier Community School and their feeder school's i.e. children talking to younger children. The selection and design process is well underway. Additional monies via ex Mayor will be allocated specifically for the disabled element. A contractor will be selected early spring2010.

Curved railings are to be completed early in the New Year and the Gates will be the very last item due to heavy construction vehicles accessing the park to install the bridges.

A very successful community Youth Christmas Lantern Procession took place last Sunday. It attracted approx 300 people; we were very pleased with the response. Pupils of Pebble Brook, Monks Coppenhall, Edleston Road and Wistaston schools all participated.


Help Needed Charles Dick

We have a relation of Dick, Charles who is trying to find any information on him or any photos if you have anything please contact us

Born at Broughty Ferry in 1838, he served an apprenticeship from 1854 under James How at Monifieth Foundry. After short times as a workman in the marine-engine shops of J. & G. Thomson on the Clyde and of James Jac k & Co at Liverpool, he was taken-on in the Crewe erecting shops in August 1860 after walking to that place from Liverpool in search of work. In 1862, while a chargehand erector, he attracted the attention of young Webb at the evening classes of the Mechanics Institute where he won a prize. Webb brought him into the office as a temporary tracer and draughtsman, and in 1863 he became an established member of the drawing office staff at 8s 4d [42p] a day. He succeeded Kampf as chief draughtsman on 15 December 1871 at a salary of £160 a year raised in steps to £225 at the end of 1874 and, as he himself wrote, with heavy work and long hours. Under his charge were developed the designs of the Webb Precursors, Precedents and coal engines.

In February 1877 he was appointed manager of the signal department at Crewe; he had manufacture, installation and maintenance in his care, with much outdoor wor k along the line in all weathers. G. P. Neele, the LNWR traffic superintendent, paid him compliments for his signal work in Railway Reminiscences ( 1902).

In February 1882 he succeeded Worsdell as works manager, though the appointment was still styled indoor assistant. He died on 2 June 1888 of chest and kidney complaints at the age of 50, but in essence he was worn out by the work and its responsibilities following his hard and often penurious youth. In reporting his death to the Locomotive Committee Webb said "he was a very able and faithful servant of the Company." A grant of six months' salary, less amount paid on sick leave, was given to his four children aged 23 to 14, for he was a widower. Dick came to take much part in Crewe local affairs. He was deputy mayor to Webb in the Jubilee year of 1887, and presided at the public dinner to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee and Crewe's railway jubilee, for Webb as mayor of the borough was away at the national thanksgiving service in Westminster Abbey. He was treasure r of the Mechanics Institute 1875-81. After Dick's death in 1888 a shelter was erected in the then new Queen's Park i

n memory of him; he himself had supervised the layout of the park. Webb and Dick always got on well together and were much of an age. One of Dick's letters preserved long after his death shows him to have been human and unaffected, and gives a good first-hand account of Crewe in the mid-1880s.


November 26th


Friends of Queens Park have a meeting on Tuesday 8th December at 6:00 pm at the queens park jubilee Cafe were everyone is welcome to come along.


Updated the Burma Island page as most of the work has been done on the island in the last few weeks



Friday, October 23, 2009

Queens Park Tour


The first meeting of the Friends of Queens Park which has taken over from the Stakeholder

took place on Tuesday night with a trip around the park to see the progress led by Ian Bright,

from EBM consultants. A lot turned up despite the bad weather and darkness.

We were shown the new roadway being built by the lake as a temporary measure so

heavy machinery can move about the park such as diggers and cranes.

A lot of work has been done on Burma Island and half of the island has been removed so

it can be rebuilt. All the islands will need most of the surrounding brick work removed

and rebuilt to prevent collapse

We were then shown Broad walk and the band stand. Most of the path is full of heavy

 machinery and work has been done on the main bridge which will span the valley to

Coronation Walk. The heavy wooden bridge will be supported by a large arch and

this time it will be level with steps on one side and a disabled ramp on the other

so people can get to Coronation Walk. It will all be replanted.

Its hoped the new bridges will arrive in January- February and will then be put in

 place with huge cranes as the bridge will have to come in large pieces. It will be

major work to get these cranes into confined spaces but it is all planned.

The lake area should be open by March and the paths will be rebuilt as a

 temporary measure. In the future the paths will have to be closed so new

ones can be built once all the work has been done. Its hoped the lake will

 have both boats and fishing once again. There is problem with having Carp

 in the lake but with a new filtering system its hoped this can be done



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Big stink at the Queens Park


There was a big stink at the Queens park today as all the flowers in the main drive were removed and tons of new soil and manure were delivered ready for next years growth. So we should have some good displays next year but in the mean time the park has some good healthy smells

Down at the lake work was being done on Burma Island and down by the sluice gates. Wrekins display boards were being removed at long last. So people can now go down to the park and see some action at last. Its been a frustrating time for all and tempers have frayed with no work since early this year. But at last we can see work being done. Check back for updates.

Finally dont forget the next meeting
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
5:30pm - 6:30pm
Queens Park Cafe, Crewe for a walk around the park ALL welcome



Queens Park 6-10-2009


At the Queens Park today I ran into the lads from British Military Fitness They were putting on

 a corporate event sponsored by Nokia for a local company. This involves team building and the

old Military gun run often seen at events. Its good to see the park put to use for something for a change

At long last a digger was spotted in the Park lake today so work is under way at last and

we will be following the work with great interest

Its a nice time of year as the Autumn moves in slowly in the park with beautiful colours of

the trees and some good pictures are possible at this time of the year so get down to the park with your camera

Queens Park Update Sept 29th 09


The new contractor has taken over the lake refurbishment and everyone is disappointed they cant see any visible signs of action after a week. The Wrekin signs are still in place and it was hoped they would have been removed by now.

Over on Facebook a group of over a 1,200 has formed complaining about the park. This follows reports in the local paper of the state of the play area which was highlighted at the Stack holders meeting. To give everyone time the next meeting which will be the first for the Friends of the Park is on at Queens Park Cafe, Crewe
Tuesday, October 20 at 4:00pm and if everyone turns up from Facebook the park will be full. It promises to be a lively meeting with complaints about the elections of officers for the friends of the park as there was no vote taken just a proposer and seconded

There has been no work visible on site for the bandstand but much of this work is being done off site and its still on track to finish in December 2009

The final major part of the railings took place last week and now all the major work is done its just down to little bits left to be done which are waiting on other projects



Queens Park Restoration Project Stakeholders Meeting No 14 Chairman's Report by Councillor Roy Cartlidge Date 15th of September 2009.


It's seems a very long time since our last meeting 8th of July to be precise but I hope you will agree with me it's been worth it, I say that because of all the bad publicity of the past I now believe we have turned a new chapter on the restoration front.
The long wait has given time for the outstanding works to be organised and contracts to be signed and the works although very much behind the scenes work has been carried-out on the following: Culvert, landscaping works and railing base at Victoria Ave along with work to restore the bandstand on site this was carried out without any problems for our resident bats population.

All this was noted on a walkabout with officers concerned and feel confident that the project is once again back on track for a grand opening ceremony sometime I hope in the late summer 2011 this needs further discussion along with the formation of a new Friends Group which hopefully take over the role of community consultation on the Park and associated issues like events and visitor support.
The only fly in the ointment is the re-jigging of the proposed design of the park buildings but I have been assured that this was necessary to make sure that the works would be carried out on time and to budget so a saving here and there has helped in ensuring that our park is well on the way to completion.

Other Issues:
The works are being carried out in a structured way to ensure that damage to existing infrastructure is not damaged by the heavy machinery the bridges are key element in this only when they are in place can the other associated work be started like the coronation walk landscaping, Lake Works, sluice gates/overflow along with clock tower / Boer War Memorial and building construction works commences on the new cafeteria, bowling pavilion. The depot building, I believe this is where the compromise on cost and build quality was made, so not the purpose built depot we were promised but a utilisation of one of the Lodges. The West & East Lodges are now going to be used for day to day running of the park with administration, staff accommodation and a far better purpose served than residential lettings. An unforeseen benefit re the loss of the Depot build is that it leave more space for Park use.

Friends Group:
I wish them well for the future and only good work and dedication can be expected from them to put the public and visitors first and keep a sense of community within our fine Victorian parkland.
Grand Reopening Ceremony:
I hope we can discuss this further at tonight's meeting I have raised this with the leadership of the Council already, A Prom in the Park event in the evening,
And a Victorian theme throughout the day hot air balloons, steam fair and attractions?
Yes that is what it could be like it remains to be seen whether or not it will! It's really down to you who will be present at the meeting to follow this through to its conclusion.

Connect2 Cycle Way:
This project is due to start at the Crewe end of the route this will involve work around the boundary of the park in Queens Park Drive areas and new car park construction associated with it and installation of road safety infrastructure this is to start early 2010 and a lot of work must be completed before March or no later than April around this particular part of the route this will ensure that it will not compromise the works or progress of the park works and in fact help to enhance the overall scheme to improve a grot spot just outside one of the park entrances to the west. The final completion date of the entire route given by Sustrans as 2013 Crewe to Nantwich.
The Friends Group need to be on the stakeholders/steering group for this contact:
Mr Peter Foster
North West Regional Director
St Pauls Centre
Crewe CW1 3BY
For further information.
Finally I would like to thank everyone who has attended the stakeholders meetings in the past and present, whatever your views differing or otherwise you have made a contribution to the success of the park and we have all come along way since the C&NBC days we can all now hopefully see the end product in sight.
Thanks to the officers and staff of the park and councils past and present for their professionalism in carrying out their duties to such a high degree under such difficult conditions.

Queens Park Stakeholders final meeting September 16th


The last Stakeholder meeting took place at the Queens Park Yesterday Tuesday 15th September. It was a long meeting going on from 6 o’clock to 8 o’clock with a good turn out. So much was discussed but the main points were.

The first was the election for officers for the new Friends of the Queens Park which will now take over from the Stakeholders and will develop the park and generally see the park through the restoration and beyond. Anyone who want to join and its open to everyone should contact
Elaine Dodd
Queens Park Manager
Tel: 01270 537896.

The second most important item which everyone wants to know is the new contractor is Tolent Construction and there website is The officers explained that lots of checks and safeguards were in place to ensure they didn’t fail us like Wrekin did. There are penalty clauses and deposits to ensure the work is done correctly and on time. They should be on site by next week and we hope we can see some action very soon; they will be doing the bridges, lake etc.

We then had a slide show of the work that had been done so far which included the work already done on the lake with part of the wall around the lake already done along with footing for the bridges etc. The banking along Victoria Ave is finished with a smoother transition to Coronation Walk and in doing this a lot of the mud from by the bandstand has been moved and the area cleared. Other work was the band stand which is on the main site here .

Concern was expressed at the state of the child play area and it was planned this would be one of the last things done as it would be getting a lot of traffic with other work. They did promise to relook at this due to the complaints about the area and maybe this can be brought forward.

Plans are being drawn up for the pavilion, bowling green and the lodges and should be available at the next meeting. The lodges will be used for park admin and possibly for education purposes which may contain a mini museum showing the history of the park. The current occupant of the east lodge is leaving soon after being there over 40 years.

It was hoped a major event could be organized for a grand opening of the park in may 2011 and this would be a large scale event to promote the park


August 15th up date


Its all go in the park this week as you can see above the bandstand work is under way new steel work is already in and there are 4 men working on the project

Down at Coronation walk they have had to dig a hole into the mud which they have moved to support the north wall. The pipe that goes under the lake is blocked not in the park but outside. They have had to dig to find the problem and replace the pipe to connect Alton St to Victoria Ave and beyond



August 2009


4th August and the final part of the new railings is going in along Victoria Ave. Apart from a odd few feet the railings are all now complete there is just the little bit waiting for new gates before they can do the last little bit.

As you can see above the banking is going great guns and wont be long before its finished and at the same time the mass of mud has been moved from by the Bandstand so its real progress.



The date for the next stakeholder meeting will be Tuesday 15th September, 6pm start, in the Jubilee Cafeteria. All are welcome, and the next get-together should report plenty of progress.


The Queens Park project has been surrounded by speculation and delays. Almost every aspect of the work has had its complications; however as Cheshire East Council strives forward it has put measures in place to literally get the earthmoving.

Cheshire East Council is committed to supporting and utilising local businesses and the economy, the project team of Consultants and Contractors appointed to date are all North West based.

This week has seen another local contractor earth moving, utilising the clay-soil deposits from the debris of the lake, to form the basis for new raised footpath improving access and supporting the original failing retention wall, all on the North West side of the Park.

Even more exciting is that the Cheshire East specialist restorers ‘Lost Art’ has been appointed to complete the Bandstand refurbishment and works commenced this Monday (20th).

At a recent meeting with the Heritage Lottery and Cheshire East Council all parts demonstrated their commitment seeing the works progresses and finalised.
As the original contractor went into administration, the project legalities and the stoppage of works caused frustration, both within the Authority and to members of the public.

On yet another positive note tenders for completion of the lake and bridge works have now been returned and are being reviewed by the Consultants, including the proposed building works required. It is anticipated that an announcement of the new Contractor will be made within weeks.

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder for Cheshire East Council, said: “I am delighted to see workman now on site at Queens Park and even more so that local Contractors and Experts are part of this process. It is a very exciting time for the Park, the current Bandstand works, which will be undertaken during the next 20 weeks, utilises the very best of our North West Craftsmen with their skills and high quality historically authentic works.”


The work on the banking along Victoria Ave is well under way but at the moment resembles a mud bath with all the rain we have had. As well as the rebuilding of the wall they are moving the mud from the top area near the band stand so its two jobs getting done

Stakeholder meeting 8th July


I attended the stakeholders meeting held at the park on Wednesday 8th July. There has been little or no visible work done at the park for months but that's all about to change. The new tender should be opened this week and hopefully a new contractor appointed very quickly. There has been a delay as after the tenders were in one contractor reduced the price and as a result other had to be given the opportunity to resubmit tenders.

At the meeting the Lions came with some cash to build a sensory garden like the one a Stapley Water gardens so that is another new feature which should be a major attractions and as the Lions are funding it there is no messing about getting the money.

The meeting discussed that the stakeholder work would be done once the park was finished and then a friends of the Queens Park would take over to make decisions about the park and see that its maintained and looked after. This will be open to anyone and will shortly be setup as a charity so they can get funding for any future projects.

The work on the wall were the Bats have held up work is now due to start this week and should be finished in a month. This also means the railings can then be finished as there is only this small section to do. We will have pictures as soon as there is signs of life. Work on the bandstand is also imminent.

The summer bedding is now starting to flower and will soon be in its full glory as can be seen above taken after the meeting.

The park has events still going on this summer which are

12th July Blozone Band - FAB Blues Band
19th All Sorts Dog Display Team
26th George Formby Ukulele Soc
1st & 2nd Aug TipKinder - Bob Fields GRANDS incl. "The Shanaze Reade BMX Track"
2nd August The Valentines Duo
9th Tarporley Concert Band
16th Lucy Jane ~ Punch & Judy
23rd Matrix Dancers with Pheonix Disco
Thurs 27th Youth Fire Serv Display
Sat 29th CARNIVAL King George V Playing Fields
Thurs 5th Nov LIONS Bonfire & Fireworks Display

While its not strictly the Queens Park the new footpath /cycle way is another major step forward. Costing over 1 million pounds it will link the Queens Park to Nantwich and means you will be able to walk or cycle to the park from Nantwich in safety along a beautiful country path. This should help make the park more accessible to all. Its hoped the work we have done in trying to get Tipkinder on the map will come into play as the path can then be extended via Tipkinder and the Valley Park and take you into the town centre.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Triple whammy


The work to redo the main wall flower bed by Victoria Ave is under way. This is a triple whammy as to redo the wall they are using mud that was taken from the lake. This mud has formed a mountain up near the band stand and as you can see above they are removing the mountain to use on the wall.

This work had been delayed as there were Bats nesting in the wall and they couldn't be disturbed. The work should take about 4 weeks and once that is done they can then replace the railings at the top. So that's 3 jobs done.




New Ducklings in the park 17 May 2009


Its good to see the wildlife are flourishing even if the park isn't as new ducklings were spotted in the lake. A few duck still remain and some even visit Tipkinder


New duklings

New Park Manager

Elaine Dodd is the new Queens Park manager. The new post is seen as a key role in helping to transform the Victorian park to its former glory.

Delays in the redevelopment project have proved frustrating for the officers involved and loyal users of the park.

It is hoped an announcement will be made shortly as to whom the selected new contractors are who will continue with works stalled when contractor Wrekin went into liquidation.

All that is happening at the park at the moment is the new railings are having their third coat of paint.