Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group
Trustee's Annual Report
Financial year Oct 1st 2016 to Sept 30th 2017
Objectives for the year :-
Receiving full charity status.
Securing the 25 year lease from HBC .
Approval of the restoration plans from HBC .
Raising community awareness of the restoration of the greenhouse as a horticultural and educational facility.
Tesco's Bags of Help, awarded £8,000 to restore the upper ventilation, time frame for completion 12 months.
Scout groups made two visits helping with planting weed control.
Halloween event proved very successful with 40 children involved in a spooky walk in the park,after tea in the cafe, stories and face painting at the greenhouse and a ghost train ride on the miniature railway, a great team event.
The PU roof covering donated and erected by Dynamic Scaffolding on Sept 6th 2016 enabled events such as this to be possible, it also protects the plants, volunteers and visitors throughout the winter months.
Sue Thomson resigned from her role as committee secretary,Eddie Keogh was welcomed as her replacement . Sue continues as a volunteer which is much appreciated as her plant knowledge is invaluable as well as her experience as secretary of Bohemia Walled Garden .
Site survey by Tobias Jaekle a local architect who volunteered his professional services to carry this out. Paul Moon volunteered to project manage the cast iron ventilation restoration being undertaken by Overwrought Forge later in the year.
Educations Futures Trust worked in the greenhouse clearing the overgrown
staging at the rear of the greenhouse of 20 years of neglect. This was heavy work and very much appreciated by all the regular volunteers.
Wood Chips pre school children used the greenhouse for play days.
Scouts made further visits with their Mum's and Dad's helping to clear more undergrowth from the rear staging.
Two sacks of spring bulbs were donated by Simple Garden the garden design and specialist plant shop in George St. These were planted in the newly cleared land at the rear , and some potted up for spring sales.
It was decided to hold committee meetings at HVA on the first Tuesday of each
month 2pm-4pm at a cost of £20 for room hire. This has proved to be a better use of committees time.
Draft lease received from HBC on Jan 3rd and submitted to a property lawyer for her overview and recommendations.
A designer and vintage clothes sale was held by a local resident at her home, 10% of the proceeds were donated to greenhouse funds. Great idea and generous contribution .
idverde donated 50 trays of winter flowering pansies which boosted sales through the early part of the year and create much needed colour to the plants for sale in the greenhouse
The Secretary started work on the Charity Commission submission, with the aim to have this completed and submitted within a six month time frame.
Plumpton College visited the GH to see if it was possible to use it for classes.
WFAGA visited the greenhouse to see if there was potential for work placements.
Both felt the facility could prove to be useful when restored.
New volunteer (Val Honyben), offered to and assist with Heritage Lottery applications and Charity Commission issues. Her work has most proved most useful, we shall call upon her again for help in the future.
Charity document being worked on with the help of Pat Weaver at HVA.
Commencement of upper ventilation restoration work by Overwrought Forge .
Plant sale in the park selling spring bulbs proved successful and generated more interest in the greenhouse from the public.
Appointments arranged with specialist restoration companies in order to compile estimates for future funding applications for the restoration.
Princes Trust commence a series of work days through the month, 6 to 10 young adults and their team leaders carried out the following work:-
Bagging up rubble from rock garden in section four, long border concrete path and green waste cleared from from the rear staging by volunteers and EFT.. APGG arranged for Load Fast to remove this at a cost of £250.00 from funds raised at plants sales and events.
Rear staging covering with a black plastic weed suppressant .
Compost bins turned, hedge removed.
Princes Trust organised fund-raising with a sweet sale raising £125 to APGG funds.
A party for all the students was arranged at the greenhouse to celebrate the completion of their work.
Chelsea Fringe Event organised by APGG in Alexandra Park
APGG invited local nurseries Rotherview, Ivy house, and Simply Garden to to take stalls selling plants. Friends of Alexandra Park and Bohemia Walled Garden were also represented . idverde brought their tractors for the children's delight and distributed free wild flower seeds.
Travis Elborough gave a talk on the history of parks and gardens,
at The Beacon followed by a raffle and supper.
Nick Hennessy one of the park rangers gave a walk and talk through
Alexandra Park which proved very popular .
Bands Deep Ease and The Wobblies played on the band stand , the cafe served cream teas, completing the Chelsea theme
Metalwork restoration complete.
Visit from Tesco's to see the work and prepare for regional press coverage .
HBC erected the temporary fence between the greenhouse and the depot.
Celia Wood accepted the role of Treasurer and Trustee replacing
Barbara Rogers who resigned to focus on her other charitable commitments. Adrian Penfold joined committee as a trustee with responsibility for the greenhouse site management and volunteer working parties . His expertise in horticulture is much valued as is the generous amounts of plants he supplies for the plant sales.
The Wonky W1 decorated the greenhouse with their colourful and interesting installations , perfect for the summer holidays in a sea side town . These installations resulted in increased interest in the project, encouraged new volunteers and improved plant sales.
Imagination children's day on the pier. APGG joined with other charities and community groups holding a children's gardening event selling plants potted up by the scouts during a workshop at the greenhouse ,children's gardening items donated by Simple Garden were also sold and proved very popular with the little budding gardeners.
East Sussex Building Control visit the greenhouse, report submitted by
Paul Moon. Their very positive recommendations have been incorporate into the restoration scope of work . HBC planning department also made a site visit and gave verbal comments on the suggested restoration proposals.
It was decided that APGG will wait till our 25year lease is confirmed before applying to the The Charity Commission for full charity status.
The crazy paved floor in section four, started by John Bell (our longest serving volunteer), was completed by Colin and Linda Foy. The floor now makes the area safer and provides more space for potting up and plant care. John Bell is now building a plant pot storage system in section four. John has also methodically boarded all the 60m of staging with wood salvaged from pallets enabling plants to be displayed throughout the total length of the greenhouse a wonderful labour of love.
Alexis Collins volunteered to research opportunities for small funding applications . It was agreed that we should focus on funding for the installation of a power supply at a cost of £13,000.00. All quotes had been received making the applications possible
St Helen's Road Residents held an evening party at the greenhouse , this highlighted how perfect a restored greenhouse would be as a venue hire.
Heritage Open day
Well attended event, the added attraction of a 1934 Bedford Lorry lovingly restored by David Hance which he drove around the park to promote the greenhouse, the lorry and the greenhouse are the same age 84 , they looked good together .
None of this would have been possible without the wonderful volunteers who have worked steadfastly to prevent the greenhouse from further decline and raising plants for weekly sales. Their time and enthusiasm has been given freely working in all weathers with only tea and biscuits as reward.
The community have donated all the plants we sell and their support has been most rewarding, as plants sales pay all the running costs to date.
Special thanks to the following who have given their help over the last four years :-
Ross Andrew-Clifford – Junction 44 professional graphic design , establishing the group's identity and promoting our sales and events.
John Hywel- website design and management, giving us a vital link to the community, and prospective funding foundations.
The Park Rangers - without who's help our plant sales in the park would not have been possible, their true community spirit is acknowledged and much appreciated
Lynda and Colin Foy- established a good rapport with the media submitting timely press releases,local interviews and professional photographs (see our press cuttings file). They also used their practical skills to good use at the greenhouse, building walls and laying floors.
idverde- their support and advise has been constant and continues.
HVA – help with the charity commission applications and general well informed support.
WE ARE GROWING TOGETHER TO SAVE THE GREENHOUSE !!!