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.

Caring for Danny Winter Bench

Improved setting for Cpl. Danny Winter's Bench

Danny Winter BenchAs explained in our first article about Danny Winter's Bench, we can't take any credit for its original installation in 2009 - that was all down to his family - but we do think it instantly became a key feature of the park and we've always felt it was very important to care for it as part of our task days as best we can.

Back in June 2016 we enhanced the scene with the addition of what have become known to us as "Danny's Pots", which we make a big effort to keep well planted and watered during our task days. More recently, in the summer of 2019, we arranged for the worn grass in front of the bench to be replaced by cobbled setts.

Read more: Caring for Danny Winter Bench

Town Centre Benches

Marple Town Centre Bench Refurbishments

Did you know all 17 Town Centre Benches were refurbished by Friends of the Park?

Town Centre BenchesIn 2013 we realised that we could utilise the skills we learnt in the park to refurbish the neglected benches in Marple Town Centre. By 2019 we had found sponsors for all 17 town centre benches and completed the last full refurbishment. Each refurbished bench has been fitted with a plaque acknowledging the sponsor and identifying that it was refurbished by Friends of the Park. The surplus income over expenditure boosted our skatepark project fund raising and helped with other projects in the park too.

It took two years of persuasion from when we first offered to venture outside of the park and refurbish the benches on Market Street, Derby Way and other areas of the Town Centre before the council allowed us to get started. The main obstacles of power-tools and risk assessment training were finally overcome and in August 2015 we were at last in a position to be able to do the work while covered by the council's insurance.

Read more: Town Centre Benches

Ocean See-Saw

Ocean See-Saw installed in Infants Play Area

Ocean See-Saw

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.

Read more: Ocean See-Saw

New Sculpture Trail

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.

Read more: New Sculpture Trail

Warship Week Plaque

Warship Week plaque

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.

Read more: Warship Week Plaque