January: Some Welcome Help and a Farewell

We had some welcome help in January from an organisation called Good Gym. We were sad to say farewell to Tracy Sawyer, one of our oldest allies on the Council, who retired last month.

It is a drab time of year, not helped by the rotting leaves that do nothing to enhance the appearance of the Park. We did, however, have some welcome help in January from an organisation called Good Gym. Good Gym is a group of young runners who combine regular exercise with fulfilling a community task. The local group meet regularly at East Finchley, run to the place where help is needed, perform a task and run back again. They are a really enthusiastic and friendly group and were really welcome on a Saturday afternoon at Friary Park. In half an hour they managed to fill fifteen sacks of leaves from in front of the playpark. Their energy was amazing considering they had already run five miles before they started the job! The Friends have another project lined up for them in the coming weeks. Good Gym are willing to help community organisations with short tasks so it is worth looking at their website.

The issue of the toilets which was highlighted in the last newsletter has not improved. We are pressing the Council to supervise the cleaning contract more vigilantly.

The Friends of Friary Park benefitted from having a box in the Whetstone Waitrose green disc scheme in January. As a result we are expecting a very welcome cheque for £555 towards our depleted funds. Many thanks to all who contributed!

Visitors may have seen that ‘No Unauthorised Vehicle’ signs have appeared at the Friary Road and Friern Barnet Lane entrances, in an effort to deter unwanted traffic such as ice cream vans from entering the Park by the statue entrance and the main drive.

One of our oldest allies on the Council retired last month. Tracy Sawyer was the Green Spaces Officer for the east of the Borough, responsible for over a hundred parks and open spaces. It was a very demanding job, not helped by staff cuts, but although under considerable pressure, Tracy managed to give a fair part of her time to Friary Park, which was one of her favourites.