AGM for 2018, and talk by the Park Manager and Contractor

We were very pleased to welcome to our 2018 AGM Mark Evison, manager of Alexandra Park, and also for a first time and a fresh perspective, Michael Conway, head of John O'Conner contractors in the Park.

Michael Conway (left) gave us an enlightening, illustrated talk showcasing some of the problems that he has encountered in the Park over the many years of his tenure. We could see a great contrast between today's well kept park and the dilapidated state of some of the infrastructure before we received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. There were a few pictures showing the day that WW2 grenades were exploded in the Boating Lake....

On a less positive note, Michael, mentioned that 15 tonnes of litter (less than half in the bins) was collected over the first May Bank holiday and that this cost many thousands of pounds to dispose of.

Mark Evison, our Park Manager, returned this year to update the members on the challenges over the past year and on how the Alexandra Park and Palace Trust is planning for the future. Mark is working on a draft Park Infrastructure Business Plan.

He made the point was made that commercial events in the park are now responsible for any damage/litter caused by them and that this does not come out of the Park Budget. Also any disturbance to the natural environment caused by an increase in commercial events within the park needs to be quantified. To this end, wild life surveys had been commissioned to establish a baseline situation. He also mentioned his responsibility with regards to the leaseholders (e.g. Boating Lake Cafe and pedalos, Pitch and Putt, Garden Centre) on site and that improvements will be made in negotiating their contracts as they come up for renewal.

Both speakers kindly thanked the Friends for their involvement with the Park.

The formal part of the evening was really not too long! We briefly highlighted the events put on by the Friends with a special mention for the successful joint event with the Alexandra Palace learning team for Haringey's weekend of play.

Gordon Hutchinson was re-elected chair, Nick Bryant re-elected treasurer and Jane Hutchinson re-elected secretary. Robyn Thomas, Frances Minnion and Stephen Middleton were also confirmed as committee members.

We said a sad goodbye to Harry Kornhauser, a long standing committee member and also to Laura Mazur, our pioneering newsletter editor, who is producing a short book on the Park which will come out later this year who has moved back over the pond.

We formally welcomed Caroline Beattie-Merriman onto the committee as our new newsletter editor (she had been co-opted onto the committee a few months back).

We do have a place free on the committee for somebody keen to join us!

A report of the 2017 AGM

At the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Alexandra Park. Kirsten Forrest and James White from the Palace team showed a selection of some of the fascinating images that emerged from the Park and Palace archives found during the restoration work in the Palace. These included pictures of the old Pavilion Tea Rooms in The Grove, the old Boat House and pictures from inside the Palace.

The first part of the archives has been uploaded to Google Arts and Culture and can be found here.

They also asked if any of the Friends of Park were interested in doing research into Gardening in the Park......

In addition Mark Evison, the Park Manager, gave us an update on the park and illustrated some of his work (dealing with licencees, coping with the litter, tree vulnerabilities and management). New positive achievements included large numbers of awards for the Park (Green Flag, London in Bloom etc.) and the new surface to the Lower Road.

The Friends’ chairman, Gordon Hutchinson, gave a report (read it here) on the activities of the members and a plea for additional help to do yet more.

Concern was raised over the Wood Green Area Action Plan and how it could affect the Park.

The Committee was re-elected, but if you wish to join us you will be very welcome. Contact us or come along and meet us when the Information Centre is open.

Click here for the AGM 2017 Minutes and Treasurer's Report.