Our Projects in Marple Memorial Park
The Friends of Marple Memorial Park have had amazing success with their projects in the park, thanks largely to the great support from local people, other voluntary organisations and the Marple business community. You can read more about these successes here.
Ocean See-Saw installed in Infants Play Area
Following the great success of the 2018 Julian Wadden Treasure Hunt, which raised £2,154 towards new equipment in the Infants Play Area, and the award of a £1,000 grant from the Autotrader Community Fund, Friends of the Park are pleased to announce that a new Ocean See-Saw was installed next to the Infant Play Area swings in late September 2018.
It was initially proposed that the new equipment would replace the old springers but it turned out that the Ocean See-Saw would be a perfect fit in the space next to the new swings installed in 2017, so that's where has been installed and the springers will be kept for a future project that will replace them.
Proposals for a new sculpture trail
Inspired by the reaction to the loss of "Midnight" the Tree Sculpture in early 2019 Friends of the Park developed plans for a new sculpture trail to enhance the park and link up with trails on the canal and down at the Mellor Mill site. It was proposed that the trail would feature six sculptures inspired by local primary school children and a carved reading lectern near to the library in the same central spot that "Midnight" was once located. In early 2020 our first grant application was unsuccessful and the project is now on hold due to Covid19.
HMS Maple, How Marple Swept the Seas in WW2
Towards the end of 2015 Friends of the Park were contacted by Marple Local History Society about an historic WW2 plaque that had been donated to their archives by a lady called Julie Clay. The plaque was made to commemorate the adoption of HMS Maple by the citizens of Marple after the community raised £75,000 during Warship Week in November 1941. Keen to put the plaque on public display, the society felt that Memorial Park was the perfect place and we certainly agreed with that too!
We'll probably never be sure how the plaque found its way back to Marple but we do know that Julie's uncle, Bernard Mifflin, acquired it somehow and it spent the last 30 years in his garden. It's likely that the plaque was removed from the ship when it was scrapped in 1956.
There is a page on MLHS's web site to explain in more detail the background and history of the plaque and HMS Maple. On this page we focus on the project to install it in the park and the fantastic community support that helped us to do it.
Silhouettes at entrance commemorate WWI Centenary
Inspired by the WWI centenaries and the fact that the park came into being as a War Memorial Park in 1922, after the end of the First World War, we designed and commissioned two stainless steel WWI silhouette artwork signs for the front and rear entrances to the park. Inspired by our design, the metalwork and laser cutting for these were provided free of charge by Advanced Engineering Techniques of Sheffield. This was arranged by Marple resident Alan Burton, who works for C Brown & Sons (Steel) Ltd.
The only costs associated with this project were for the black backgrounds and a variety of stainless fixtures and fittings. Installation was by completed by our volunteers.
Campaign for a new roundabout in Infants Play Area
In May 2015 the roundabout in the Infants Play Area had been broken and out of service for at least 6 weeks. It had never worked properly and soon after it was installed in 2008 the Friends of Memorial Park told the council it was not fit for purpose. Many promises to rectify the situation followed over the next 2.5 years but none were fulfilled and the roundabout was now unusable and the safe surface around it getting worse every day.
Friends of the Park sought assurances from the council’s Greenspace Team that the roundabout would be replaced with a new piece of equipment but these were not received. We were told only that "Greenspace and SSK are currently reviewing priorities and spend for this financial year, this is one of the items that will be considered".
We wrote to local councillors asking for their support and they agreed to consider how new equipment could be funded at the next Marple Area Committee on 10 June 2015. In order to show councillors how important this was to the people in the local community who use the park we set up an ePetition on the council’s own web site.