April 2024: Page Park News

New loos start to take shape

WORK to provide Page Park with new toilets, including facilities for people with severe disabilities, is underway.

Contractors started work on the £245,000 project at the beginning of March, fencing off the old toilets near the park’s main Broad Street entrance and removing the roof.

By the time the work is finished in May, the park will have new public loos including “fully accessible” toilets for people with severe disabilities, which include hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and extra space to accommodate carers.

The park won funding under the Changing Places Toilets scheme for the accessible facilities, with the rest of the cost coming from South Gloucestershire Council, developer contributions, grants and £20,000 raised by volunteer group the Friends of Page Park.

The whole of the old toilet block, which had been closed for several years, is being revamped, providing two other public toilets, which will be available to all while the park is open.

The new loos will lock automatically when the park is closing to keep them secure.

Work is also underway to service the park’s clock.

Help children play in future

FAMILIES whose children use play equipment in Page Park are being invited to help shape the future of its play areas.

The Friends of Page Park are planning to meet up with South Gloucestershire Council to look at which facilities need to be replaced and how the work can be funded.

It comes after pieces of wooden play equipment in the adventure playground area had to be removed last year, when the wood was found to have gone rotten.

Friends vice-chair Steph Purser said: “The Friends started because play equipment was being taken away as it wasn’t fit for purpose. All these years later at our anniversary, we’ve come full circle and are looking at the issue again.”

Parents who want to get involved with deciding what new equipment is needed, and how to raise the funds needed to help buy it, can email the Friends at friendsofpageparkbs16@gmail.com or send a message via Facebook.

Friends throw 25th birthday party

A PARTY is being held in Page Park this summer to celebrate 25 years of the Friends of Page Park.

The volunteer group was founded in 1999 and since then has helped to improve every aspect of the park.

Among other achievements, members have worked with the council to secure the £1.6 million Heritage Lottery Fund award in 2016 which funded the cafe building, and have also helped create the sensory garden, revamped the aviary and organised countless outdoor events to entertain park visitors.

The celebration on July 6 will be similar to the Platinum Jubilee and Coronation events held over the past two summers, although on a smaller scale, concentrating on music and food stalls, with some children’s activities.

A full programme of music at the bandstand from 11am to 5pm is being planned, with acts currently being booked.

Friends vice-chair Steph Purser said: “We couldn’t let the anniversary go by without bringing everyone from the community together to celebrate what we’ve done.”

The event will take place three weeks after this year’s Bristol Refugee Festival, which is returning to the park for a third time on June 15.

Remembering John May

ONE of Page Park’s most dedicated volunteers has died.

John May put in countless hours of work in the park’s sensory garden from its creation in 2005 and was also often seen riding around the area on his mobility scooter, “most of the time in the middle of the road”.

Friends of Page Park vice-chair Steph Purser said: “I met John when we were putting the Sensory Garden together with South Glos garden staff; we were planting up the beds and borders.

“John stood by the fence, basically telling me we were doing it all wrong, so politely I told him rather than moaning he should grab a trowel and come and help – which he did, and took the garden on as his own.”

Steph said John’s penchant for rearranging plants to suit his ideas meant it “wasn’t always plain sailing” – he once moved a magnolia tree planted in memory of a resident’s husband after deciding it was “planted in the wrong place”.

Moving the tree 10ft along the flower bed, he planted gladiolus bulbs in its original place, where the resident had put some of her husband’s ashes.

Steph said the resident had been left in tears, but added: “The gladiolus flowers were amazing when they flowered later in the year!”