It’s Good to Grow Day at the Maryon Park Community Garden this Saturday (24 April) – a first chance for the public to look inside one of Charlton’s best-kept secrets since the start of the pandemic last year.
Visitors will be able to see the community garden and its forest school with socially-distanced tours for family groups and social bubbles.
The community garden provides organic growing plots for local people, as well as an indoor garden meeting space, while the forest school has space for primary schools and child-minders’ groups as well as outdoor art therapy.
There will be a tomato and plant sale, damson jam and a woodcraft stall at the gates of the park, next to the old park-keeper’s house. Visitors are asked to wear a mask.
“The Good to Grow Day is about encouraging people and families to visit their local community garden. Whether just want to visit the stalls, become involved or see the community Garden for the first time, you will be welcome,” the community garden’s chair, Tim Anderson says.
In the middle of December last year, The Friends of Maryon Parks were contacted by Victoria White, a metal detectorist, who had been working in a field near Buxton, Derbyshire when she found a silver Albert or watch chain.
Attached to the chain was a silver medal, inscribed on the front with the monogram “AH” and the reverse with “Maryon Park Gymnasium, 1st Prize Juniors, won by A. Harvey 1910”.
We were able to tell Victoria that the Maryon Park playground had opened in 1895 when “the Maryon-Wilson Estates gave one third of an acre more land for the formation of an open air children’s gymnasium with an additional entrance in the Lower Woolwich Road” and to provide a picture via the Charlton Parks Reminiscence website at . It is thought the photo was taken about 1910 and appears to show parallel bars and other gymnastic equipment in the upper playground.
Victoria has been unable to make a link with a Harvey family in Buxton but we wondered if there is one with GA Harvey metal works of Charlton. Unfortunately to date we’ve not been able to find out much about the family so would love to hear from someone who knows something about them.
If you can help solve the mystery, drop Christine a line at friendsofmaryonparks[at]gmail.com.
Both Charlton Park and Maryon Park are to benefit from a Greenwich Council fund aimed at rejuvenating the borough’s parks.
Charlton Park will have its playground improved while sports changing rooms will also be refurbished as part of the programme, the first tranche of spending from a £1m fund set aside by the town hall.
Councillors on the cabinet, the borough’s main decision-making body, will discuss the plans in a meeting on Wednesday. However, there is no breakdown of just how much is being spent in the programme, which involves 11 parks.
Charlton Park will see money put towards the modernisation and redecoration of sports changing rooms, playground improvements, new park furniture and basic repairs. There is also funding for a wildlife meadow to the east of the park.
Maryon Park is due to see basic repairs, new park furniture as well as improvements to its ball court and its playground. It will also get new trees and wildflower margins.
There is no new funding for Maryon Wilson Park and Hornfair Park. (See full list.)
More than 2,600 people responded to a council survey about how they wanted to see the money spent. The most common request for Charlton Park was for additional toilets and maintenance as well as picnic area improvements, more bins and floodlights in the skatepark. Users of Maryon Wilson Park, which is not getting funding, called for a café and toilets, as well as work on its pathways and steps. (See full list.)
The report to councillors says: “Cafés and kiosks were also identified as important but creation of new café and kiosks would use a large proportion of the £1m budget and it was considered more important to improve the condition of the current facilities before adding new [ones].”