Blogging for Blaker's

The Official Site of The Friends of Blaker's Park in Brighton, Sussex, UK.


email: abi.rhodes@tiscali.co.uk

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween 2009 @ Blaker’s Park

Halloween 2009 @ Blaker’s Park

Next Saturday 31st October 2009 is Hallowe’en.

As usual, Blaker’s Park in Brighton is the venue for a great Halloween party hosted by Dishy’s Café.

The event runs from 4pm until 9pm and activities include…

Fancy Dress
Apple Bobbing
Doughnut Dangling
Pumpkin lantern Competition
Mulled Wine free with every large coffee
Seasonal foods

Creepy music supplied by Spin Doctors Mobile Disco


Be there to be scared!

Brighton Urban Rangers in attendance – OOO-OOO-OOO

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Give Us An F…..


Give Us An F…..

Give Us A U…

Give Us an N…

… What’s That Spell?????





This lunchtime a group of 7 met in the Cleveland Pub to discuss the organisational details for the music at this Year’s Picnic.



Although we have twice the stage area this year, it was decided to build the 2 sections together to make one larger stage and strictly limit the time for set up, sound-check and performance to 35 minutes. [15 minutes set up/ sound check and 20 minutes performance]. Hopefully we will thus have more space and time to keep the show moving and avoid disappointing anyone. This means that bands taking too much time in set up and sound check will shorten their performance time. Conversely, the quicker they get ready, the more time is available to perform in.



The provisional running order is as follows:

First act to set up @ 10.45
11.00 Pippa Drysdale

11.20 Dave Woozley & Varndean Students

12.10 Xanthus

12.45 Jack Psychosis

13.20 Sumerian Kyngs

13.55 Sam Heart Band

14.30 That Legendary Wooden Lion

15.05 Jules Franks Band

15.40 Saravian

16.15 Lekiddo

14.50 Rockheart

17.25 Paradise9

18.00 Caitlin Stubbs & Bella Spinks

18.35 Woodstock Jam



The timetable is very tight and will require all the acts to arrive in good time to be ready to go on at their appointed times. Anyone turning up too late is liable to miss their slot altogether. We ask performers to remember this is a family event and their material should reflect this fact.



As there are still bands who would like to perform but cannot because of time restrictions, I would ask any act to let me know at the first opportunity should illness or other factors mean they can no longer make it.


Because 2009 is the fortieth anniversary of Woodstock, we are asking performers to consider putting an item or theme into their act that celebrates this landmark anniversary in the history of popular music. No pressure – but it’d make them seem that bit even more super-cool than they are normally! We’d then ask as many people to remain at the gig as possible so they can ALL JOIN IN a supergroup Woodstock Jam.


I am hoping to arrange a Radio Reverb appearance on Paul Wilson's 'Ears Wide Open' show to promote the event. To provide music for this I'd like to try to play music by each of the acts appearing. So would all the bands please send an mp3 or CD with a shortish track [say 3-5 minutes] they'd like me to air on that occasion and perhaps but up on a player on MySpace.

To find out more about any of the performers please go to …


and locate their individual pages from the Top Friends Application. Also please check out Random SJT! [who will be official photographer for the day} and Buz who will be an important member of the production team. Sound Engineering will be managed by Roy Weard, as it was last year.

More news to follow as it develops.

Give Us An F…..

Give Us A U…

Give Us an N…

… What’s That Spell?????

abi.rhodes@tiscali.co.uk





http://blakerspark.blogspot.com





www.myspace.com/bpcp2008

Friday, May 08, 2009

BLAKER’S PARK OPEN AIR ART DISPLAY

SUNDAY 10th MAY 2009

The Friends of Blaker’s Park are organising their first ever open air display of local art at the Tennis Courts on Sunday 10 May next from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It will be opened officially at 12 noon by Open House Art Show inventor Ned Hoskins.

Are you artistic in any way? Do you or any of your family create paintings, drawings, photographs, collages or even clothes and jewellery. If so, bring them along to show other local people. There are no prizes, just an opportunity to display what you have made. Remember that this art display is open to all, of any age, from toddlers to pensioners.

This first Blaker’s Park Art Display will be on the second Sunday of the Brighton Festival and we hope it will form the largest gallery wall in the city. The Park is surrounded by the Fiveways Artists’ Trail and the show will be opened by local artist, Ned Hoskins, who pioneered the first Open Houses back in the 1980s.

This display is not only for people who describe themselves as artists, but for anybody who has something which they have made and of which they are proud.

All are welcome.
HERE IS WHAT TO DO

1. Fix a hook or string to attach your entry to the tennis court fence.

2. Bring it to the desk by the Café between 11 a.m. and 11.45 a.m. on Sunday
10th May.

3. Pay a donation of 20p. to the Friends.

4. Give 30 minutes of your time during the day to act as an attendant at the site.

5. Take down your art between 5 p.m. and 5.45 p.m. that same day.

We hope for good weather on the 10th May and look forward to a lovely display.

Address queries to: Philip Smith, Chairman, Friends of Blaker’s Park, 109 Havelock Road, Brighton. Tel: 553330. e-mail: pccs109@yahoo.co.uk

Music planning meeting for picnic

The first planning meeting for the musical arrangements for this year's picnic will take place on Sunday 10th May in/around the Cleveland Pub directly after the official opening of the Blaker's Park Art Display which happens at 12 noon.






If you'd like to be involved in the running of the musical part of the picnic please feel free to turn up and make your mark.

We have arranged twice the stage area we had last year so we can plan for one act to be setting up while another is playing. We will need helpers in setting up stages and turning round acts. There may be opportunities for budding sound engineers to help our team headed by Roy Weard and Cliff Dowding. We will also need people to act as security in the back stage area and possibly to help performers with tuning up etc. A number of other tasks will no doubt be identified at the meeting.

Please come along if you'd like to help this great event which is fast becoming an annual festival that people talk about for the rest of the year!

for more details of the picnic go to www.myspace.com/bpcp2008

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fab Poster for Blaker's Park Community Picnic


Fab Poster for Blaker's Park Community Picnic
Designed by Susan Sly of the Rockheart band. Thank you Susan!



The Woodstock theme is to celebrate 40 years since that momentous event took place.



We hope to ask each act appearing at BPCP2009 to consider inserting something into their performance in memory of that occasion. And we'd like to end the event with a monster jam/singalong on the Woodstock Theme. so put on your thinking caps and suggest songs to sing/play.



Please feel free to print off, duplicate, distribute and display the poster.



www.myspace.com/bpcp2008 http://blakerspark.blogspot.com



Thanks you



Abi Rhodes/Ian Lawes

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hotel Insectoria

If, like me, you are something of an armchair or fair-weather gardener, and you are, also like me, not an avid adherent of that modern-day scourge of home and garden ‘de-cluttering’, then read on. Here is an idea that will make your lack of urgency and ardency seem both virtuous and purposeful.

When you feel up to the challenge, stroll out into the garden and survey those accumulated heaps of wood, bricks, tiles, old pots, gravel, cardboard, roofing felt, dead leaves, hay, string, bamboo canes, wire netting, plastic bottles and the rest. Believe it or not, you will have just taken the first step on the relatively simple unstrenuous project of creating both a stunning piece of architecture and a valuable wildlife haven in your very own backyard.

Next get into your car and take a trip around the neighbourhood and find about half a dozen discarded palettes. You can now add the public service of litter clearance to your CV of praiseworthy achievements!

It is not necessary to collect all these ingredients during your first skirmish with the alien and hostile Great Outdoors. This Grand Scheme can be viewed as a work in progress that can evolve over more than one growing season. The discoveries you make along the way will allow you to tweak the development of the Project as you go along, thus allowing for plenty of scope for contemplation and rumination.

It’s about time I told you what this wonderful worthwhile wildlife project actually is. It is the construction of a wildlife or invertebrate tower or hotel.

Using combinations of the above items, you attract a wide variety of species into your garden, not only as visitors but, more importantly, as long-term residents by offering them accommodation where they can take advantage of first-class facilities in which to spend a few days or even survive the winter. The attraction of insects in particular will contribute greatly to the conservation of bio-diversity in your district, as they are crucial in the pollination of plants and provide food for birds, amphibians and reptiles.

The Tower is constructed by laying palettes on top of each other like a pile of sandwiches and filling the spaces within with the various sandwich fillings you have collected. Placing concrete slabs or sheets of polythene between layers can allow the lower storeys to remain dry and draught free so that overwintering creatures stay secure, dry and warm. Higher layers may be damper – perhaps the top could be covered with a layer of turf in which wildflower seed could be planted to attract feeding birds and insects. This will require some watering on warm summer evenings – plenty of work for the more active among us.

The ground floor might be a hedgehog hotel with leaves, hay and straw. Piping, roof-tiles and the like might provide shelter for amphibians and reptiles such as frogs, toads, slow worms and lizards. Bundles of twigs and bamboo canes tied together with string or electrical zip ties will attract insect species such as lacewings and airbricks or logs drilled with holes can invite masonry bees, moths and other interesting and threatened species. Logs with loose bark or corrugated cardboard will encourage woodlice, beetles, centipedes and spiders. Dry hay or shredded paper may provide nest material for field mice and some species of low nesting birds.

If the delicate eco-system you are creating is at all threatened by larger household pets – cats and dogs – you can protect it by judicious application of wire netting on exposed areas. The gauge will depend on the animals you wish to attract. If you are hoping for small mammals, avoid chicken wire at the appropriate level.

You will have gathered by now that the possibilities presented by this challenge are endless. You can take the project as far as you are inclined to do and at a pace that suits your energy level. Its extent is only limited by your imagination and even that can be extended by exploring the Internet. I suggest Googling for combinations of "wildlife/invertebrate hotel/tower." And if you feel building your own creation rather more exhausting than you’re willing to contemplate, you will even find a number of commercially produced alternatives available there!

BLAKER’S PARK OPEN AIR ART DISPLAY

BLAKER’S PARK OPEN AIR

ART DISPLAY

SUNDAY 10th MAY 2009

The Friends of Blaker’s Park are organising their first ever open air display of local art at the Tennis Courts on Sunday 10 May next from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Are you artistic in any way? Do you or any of your family create paintings, drawings, photographs, collages or even clothes and jewellery. If so, bring them along to show other local people. There are no prizes, just an opportunity to display what you have made. Remember that this art display is open to all, of any age, from toddlers to pensioners.

This first Blaker’s Park Art Display will be on the second Sunday of the Brighton Festival and we hope it will form the largest gallery wall in the city. The Park is surrounded by the Fiveways Artists’ Trail and the show will be opened by local artist, Ned Hoskins, who pioneered the first Open Houses back in the 1980s.

This display is not only for people who describe themselves as artists, but for anybody who has something which they have made and of which they are proud.

All are welcome.
HERE IS WHAT TO DO

1. Fix a hook or string to attach your entry to the tennis court fence.

2. Bring it to the desk by the Café between 11 a.m. and 11.45 a.m. on Sunday
10th May.

3. Pay a donation of 20p. to the Friends.

4. Give 30 minutes of your time during the day to act as an attendant at the site.

5. Take down your art between 5 p.m. and 5.45 p.m. that same day.

We hope for good weather on the 10th May and look forward to a lovely display.

Address queries to: Philip Smith, Chairman, Friends of Blaker’s Park, 109 Havelock Road, Brighton. Tel: 553330. e-mail: pccs109@yahoo.co.uk

Planting garden bed by tennis court








At long last the garden bed by the tennis courts has been transformed.

Early Tuesday morning, April 7th, a collection of plants were delivered by Emma our park Ranger. Again the volunteer gardeners from Preston Manor came to finish the job they started with the clearance last November. We now have a variety of grasses and shrubs and look forward to the bed maturing and developing over the next few seasons.

All thanks are owing to George, from Preston Manor walled garden, and Emma for their energetic organisation and enthusiasm.

Marion Clark

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Blaker's ParkCommunity Picnic 2009

This year's Blaker's Park Community Picnic is on Saturday 20th June from 11am till 6pm. So far we have Saravian, Dave Woozely, Caitlin Stubbs, Paradise9, That Legendary Wooden Lion, Jules Franks, Jack Psychosis and Xanthus lined up. We hope to present a number of new acts from the local area. Rising Star Pippa Drysdale has expressed an interest in performing but this will depend on her being able to timetable us before going off to Bramfest for her set later in the day.

We will have to be careful not to overbook what is really quite a short day but we may be able to fit in a few more acts provided we can build a big enough stage are which enables us to be setting up one band while another is performing. This will mean that performers will have to be not-too-precious in sound-checking etc

We will be pleased to accept offers of help backstage - as well as offers of equipment loans - mikes, stands, cables, stools, drumkit, etc



please get in touch:-

Abi Rhodes/Ian Lawes

35 Waldegrave Road, Brighton BN1 6GR

abi.rhodes@tiscali.co.uk

01273 270501

www.myspace.com/bpcp2008

http://blakerspark.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Blaker's Park Community Picnic 2009

We are getting together a list of names of potential helpers for this year's picnic. Although the date has not yet been fixed we'd like to ask you to consider volunteering as early as possible.

Jobs on the day will include preparing and decorating park, stalls, setting up stage etc, marshalling bouncy castle, litter collection, general dogsbodying etc, etc, etc

Also anyone wishing to take on tasks prior to the event such as publicity, printing, liaison etc would be welcome to step forward too

please get in contact by emailing ianhowardlawes@lineone.net or ringing 01273 270501

In anticipation of your generosity - "Thanks"

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blakers Park Flower Beds




Blakers Park Flower Beds


The flower bed by the tennis courts in Blakers Park has long been in need of some serious loving care. On a bright sunny day early in December a group of volunteer gardeners from Preston Manor walled garden were persuaded to give a hand and wield spades, forks and a mattock to clear years of weeds and other related rubbish.


We were joined by our new ranger, Emma Owen, who now forms a very valuable link between residents and the council. Apart from hard core digging she gave advice and help over other park issues such as the non-closing gates in the dog free area and the unsightly and overflowing dog mess bins.

It was a very successful and satisfying morning, made all the more enjoyable by delicious cups of coffee from Sally’s café.

The following week with help from George, the gardener at Preston Manor, two trailer loads of compost were spread over all three beds. In spring the council will provide a selection of shrubs and perennials so hopefully everyone will notice a great improvement in the coming year.

Marion Clark

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Re-affirmation!!!!

This page has recently been re-affirmed as the official site for news and views for The Friends of Blaker's Park.

Although this was already the case based on decisions made in Committee a couple of years ago, it seems that this fact was never widely publicised and hence very few members or other people in the local community were aware of it. Hopefully tthis ommission will now be redressed by disseminating the information in the Friends'Newsletter to the Local Community and people will start using the site.

But its success depends on YOUR participation. It is hoped that the page will be updated with items of news or other local interest on, say, at least a weekly basis.

To this end the editor, Ian Lawes - aka Abi Rhodes - needs such material to upload. So please send anything you think may be of interest including news, events, photographs etc to abi.rhodes@tiscali.co.uk or ianhowardlawes@lineone.net heading your email 'Blakers Park' so that it does not get deleted as Spam. Alternatively you can continue or coment on a thread already posted by using the comment button at the foot of each post.

Let's hope that now the official website for The Friends of Blaker's Park will take off and bring news of our efforts and activities to a much wider public.

Monday, October 20, 2008

HALLOWEEN 2008

HALLOWEEN 2008
Current mood: disgusted
Category: Parties and Nightlife


HALLOWEEN @ BLAKER'S PARK WILL BE CELEBRATED FROM 4 O'CLOCK ON FRIDAY 31ST OCTOBER

ORGANISED BY DISHY'S CAFE



REALLY NASTY FOOD AND REVOLTING COCKTAILS



PUMPKIN LANTERN COMPETITION



DISGUSTINGLY HORRID FUN & GAMES



SCARY SOUNDS FROM Spin Doctors Mobile Disco



TOTALLY AND TRULY TERRIFYING COSTUME COMPULSORY

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Abi Rhodes' Zigzag Wanderings

Abi Rhodes' Zigzag Wanderings
Twenty Thousand Lemmings Can't be WrongBlaker’s Park Community Picnic 2008
Blaker’s Park Community Picnic 2008



If you’ve been in the Fiveways area for some time now, you will probably know that every year The Friends of Blaker’s Park hold a Community Picnic in the Park every year, in conjunction with the Stanford Avenue Spring Fair. The Picnic is essentially meant to be a break-even affair aimed at giving the local community chance to get together in a spirit of neighbourliness and enjoy some simple entertainment whilst sharing a bite and a beverage.

This year’s event is due to be staged on Saturday June 28th running from 11am till 6pm. So far, a number of plans have been hatched and preparations are being made as you read this. Besides the traditional attractions which occur as the Spring Fair, there will hopefully be a Bouncy Castle and a variety of fun and games. Entertainment will be provided by local bands – about 15 booked so far – linked together with music from Spin Doctors Mobile Disco. Any performer wishing to appear should contact Ian on 270501. Besides stage acts, we would welcome jugglers, acrobats and other entertainers who might like to busk it around the site, showing off to small groups of picnickers etc.



Food and drink will be available at Dishy’s wonderful Blaker’s Park Café and the Cleveland Public House for those who wish to supplement there own picnic and anyone who forgets to bring sustenance.

Any local group, society, business or individual wishing to run a side-show or a stall selling art and crafts, or workshops displaying activities and skills or demonstrating services such as therapies etc are welcomed – there is a charge of £10 for most of these – money which goes towards covering costs. Prior booking is advised and can be arranged by phoning Philip Smith on 553330.

We would be pleased also to hear from any person or group willing to help out with preparations and on the day itself. As well as the above-mentioned organisational stuff, there is distribution of publicity newsletters, tidying of the Park and Garden Beds, stage building and technical jobs associated with the music, decoration of the site, various stewarding tasks and litter clearance afterwards. The main burden of the work is usually shouldered by a few trusty stalwarts, but they will not always be available. New blood is always welcome both to lessen their load and to ensure continuity from one year till the next. So please consider offering your services – ring Philip on 553330 or Ian on 270501.



We look forward to welcoming you at Blaker’s Park for our 2008 Community Picnic. Please come with your hamper and a cheery smile. If we’re lucky we’ll all be blessed with a warm sunny day which will see us through till next year’s event!

Visit http://www.myspace.com/bpcp2008 to keep up to date on progress and news.

Abi Rhodes

Friday, April 18, 2008

Report from Committee


Last evening The Committee of The Friends of Blaker's Park met and approved the plan to hold the annual Picnic on Saturday 28th June.

So far about 15 bands etc have agreed to perform - hopefully there will be an electric stage and an acoustic stage so that acoustic acts can play while electric acts are setting up. We still need help with techy stuff and the loan of a good drum kit for the day. Any offers please?

Last year a female singer known simply as "Al" and her guitar led the assembled masses in community singing of Children's Favourites. If anyone has contact details for this lady or will get in touch with her on our behalf we'd like her do the same again if she's willing and able. Contact Ian/Abi on 01273 270501.

If you're in touch with any charities and other organisations who regularly run stalls at fetes etc please invite them on our behalf. We ask only a £10 donation - they keep the rest of their takings.

Plans are afoot to hire a bouncy castle - we will need volunteers to marshall this attraction - bossy teacher-types please apply!!! We also need helpers to decorate the park and tidy up before and after.

Please don't be backward in coming forward with comments, suggestions and offers of help. 01273 270501 Abi/Ian

Keep visiting this page and www.myspace.com/bpcp2008 to keep up to date with our news

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Community Picnic 2008.....

... will be held on Saturday 28th June. Go to www.myspace.com/bpcp2008 to read full details.

If you wish to have a stall, perform or help out on the day please contact us at 01273 270501 and ask for Ian or email abi.rhodes@tiscali.co.uk

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Xmas at Blaker's

This Saturday 22nd December 2008 - Blaker's Park

Sally of Dishy's Cafe has organised an afternoon of Christmas Joy

Santa will be there as well as Festive Food and Drink

Music provided by Spin Doctors Disco

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bulb Planting

If you're free this afternoon - Saturday 10th November - why not come along to help out with bulb planting on the bank between the tennis courts and Cleveland Road.

Strange Birds

Last Saturday morning I was walking my dog in the region of Upper Lodges, Stanmer park when I heard an exotic bird call. It's origin seemed to be in a large Beech tree and i approached in order to identify the caller. Unfortunately a Crow arrived in the tree with the same idea and frightened the stranger away - it flew off in the direction of Stanmer village. And that was that...

...until this moerning when I was there again. And so was the bird. This time it flew across a gap in the canopy and I managed to see it in silhouette only and partially identify it as a parakeet of some sort. It then disappeared from both sight and sound. So I was not able to pursue it.

Hopefully I will come across it next time I visit the area.

There is a history of such exotics in the area. Hollingbury Woods was once [1970s-90s] as the home of upto 20 breeding ring-necked parakeets which made text books on the subject. These gradually dwindles and disappeared after the nesting tree which stood on a slope by the children's playground fell over one windy night.
Last winter, there was a bit of excitement in Waldegrave Road near Fiveways when a pair of green parrots with yellow faces arrived in the street regularly feeding on fruit of a particulalry abundant crab apple and the seed etc put out by residents. They stayed several weeks and were reported and photographed in local magazine 'The Fiveways Directory'. After disappearing for a few weeks they reappeared with a third bird in tow. Whether they had bred or not remains uncertain, but their residency this time was shrt-lived. As far as I know their present location or fate remains a mystery - as does their origin.

If you have any information on any of these matters I would be pleased to hear them. Meanwhile I shall try to keep you up to date on the Stanmer parakeet.

Monday, October 15, 2007

2 Important Dates for your Diary

AGM 2007
The Friends of Blaker's Park Annual General Meeting will take place on Friday 26th October. Starting at 7.30pm in Stanford Avenue Methodist Church (corner of Stanford Avenue & Southdown Avenue, Brighton.

After the business,there will be refreshments, followed by a talk given by sarah Tobias, entitled "World War II - Life on the Home Front."

All are welcome to come along. Please consider joining The Friends of Blaker's Park.

Posted by Abi Rhodes at 8:12 PM 0 comments

Labels: Brighton Blaker's Park AGM


Halloween Party in Blaker's park 2007

Halloooooo.....!!!!!!!!!


It's time to get out your scary cossies and get down to Blaker's park for the annual Halloween bash. Sally at the Cafe has organised all sorts of goodies to eat and join in with. Special scary food, lantern competition, apple bobbing etc etc etc.
Music supplied by Spin Doctors Mobile disco.

Witching Hours 4pm- 9pm.

Come for a trick or Treat

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

AGM 2007

The Friends of Blaker's Park Annual General Meeting will take place on Friday 26th October. Starting at 7.30pm in Stanford Avenue Methodist Church (corner of Stanford Avenue & Southdown Avenue, Brighton.

After the business,there will be refreshments, followed by a talk given by sarah Tobias, entitled "World War II - Life on the Home Front."

All are welcome to come along. Please consider joining The Friends of Blaker's Park.

Halloween Party in Blaker's park 2007


Halloooooo.....!!!!!!!!!


It's time to get out your scary cossies and get down to Blaker's park for the annual Halloween bash. Sally at the Cafe has organised all sorts of goodies to eat and join in with. Special scary food, lantern competition, apple bobbing etc etc etc.
Music supplied by Spin Doctors Mobile disco.

Witching Hours 4pm- 9pm.

Come for a trick or Treat

Monday, July 23, 2007

SUMMER BIRDWATCHING

This is a fairly quiet time of year for birdwatching. The breeding season is more or less complete for many species – although certain residents will have several broods over a good summer – and many birds are concentrating on feeding up before their return migration - often in places where they are less easily seen. The deciduous trees are fully clothed with leaf-cover and much of the feeding goes on high up in the canopy. The countryside is loaded with bounty so many town birds have escaped to feed in quieter areas.
Birdwatchers have to rely on their summer vacations to bring interest to their activity. Its well worth finding out what species you can expect to see when you go abroad in advance as English Language field-guides are often hard to find when you’re actually there. If you can’t find what you need in the library or local bookshop, then go on the Net to get a good choice of material. It’s also useful to look with titles such as ‘Where to Watch Birds in Rubovia’ As these will point you to the best locations near your holiday destination. A day or two’s birding can make a foreign visit that much more interesting once you’ve exhausted the beach, the shops and the local tourist haunts.
Much the same applies if you’re holidaying in the UK. Different parts of the country can offer quite differing types of birding. Mountain and Moorland, Marsh and Fen, North and West, Coast and Country all present varied habitats and a whole new list of possibilities. What’s common here may be a rarity there and vice versa. Again, find out before you go and plan a birding excursion into your trip. Of course, RSPB reserves are always a good bet for seeing something unusual but be aware that summer is also quieter there in many cases.

When you come home again, perhaps you could be thinking about making or updating your provision for birds in your garden. Do your feeders need cleaning or replacing? The sooner you start providing food, the bigger your contingent of garden regulars will be by the time autumn and winter start diminishing the natural food sources. But you must keep the feeders replenished once you start feeding or else the birds that come to rely on you will go hungry. You may care to obtain a book like Robert Burton’s ‘Birdfeeder Garden’. This is an excellent guide to things you can do to attract and nurture birdlife in your own habitat. Besides notes on feeders, bird-tables and so forth, it has plenty of ideas about planting to attract birds – shrubs with suitable berries, plants to encourage insects which birds feed on. There’s advice on ponds and other habitat ideas, plans for a variety of standard and specialist nesting boxes, which you might like to construct on otherwise dull and dingy autumn weekends.
We have heard a lot, in recent years, about the decline in the numbers of common bird species such as the House Sparrow. By making quite simple provision in your garden you can contribute to the task of supporting declining birdlife, which has to be a positive outcome of what often starts out as the quite innocent pastime of birdwatching. With many of us doing this, there is a cumulative effect and in no time a species can recover from virtual extinction. Not only that, for quite a modest investment, you can gain hours of enjoyment and entertainment from the amusement generated by a handful of little brown jobs squabbling over food in your garden!

Ian Lawes
ianhowardlawes@lineone.net
http://abi-rhodes.typepad.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Picnic Report

M_2ebec2e3bd35983f80a7fd9b1d5e5ade
LAST ORDERS PLEASE!




Well, Blaker's Park Community Picnic 2007 has come and gone



I think it was pretty much a successful event. The weather was kind to us - a bit gloomy at times and draughty too but in some ways that was better than blazin' hot sun which we've had some years when it got like wading through treacle or the terrific thunder starm we had a couple of years ago just after we'd started. It only started drizzling just as we were packing up this year so no major problems were caused.



There seemed to be a few more stalls and activities this year and people apparently enjoyed most of what was on offer. The numbers attending were somewhat down but I think this can be put down to two things. One might have been the uncertainty in weather prospects putting people off risking picnicing. The main thing though was the absence of Rock's Kool - I think a large part of previous crowds have been frinds and families of the kids playing in the bands.

However the difference in atmosphere was quite remarkable. Previously everything seemed to centre around the music, which impinged on everyone else's enjoyment or otherwisw of the event. this year it was altogether more relaxed with music from the disco for the most part just providing a pleasant backdrop to the partiicipation in the various activities on offer. There were a small number of performances which punctuated the day, but I think these enhanced this relaxed atmosphere rather than interfered with it.

Last Orders, a newly formed troubadour rock band were the first to entertain us with their pleasant mix of covers and self-penned ditties. The present 2-piece line up of drummer & singer/guitarist came over as confident and very much at home as performers despite this being only their 2nd public appearance. They want to expand into a quartet including a fiddler, so anyone whose interested should contact them.

Fiveways Quartet was next up - impressive as their combined ages probably only just exceeded that of the deejay - they wowed us with their renditions of their own jazz originals and standards such as Dave Brubeck's Take Five. the line-up - sax, keyboard, bass & drums - worked well together and perhaps with a few more gigs under their belts they could become contenders for National recognition. thanks go to last Orders for leaving their mike-stand for their use.

Saravian arrived by bike, entertained us in her very gentle and inimitable way with songs ranging from one in the style of a less morose Nick Drake to a fabulous arrangement of Joanie Mitchell's Woodstock and then turned out to be worth her weight in gold as she generously loaned all her equipment to following artistes.

Jazmine Ava was scheduled as our last act and she enchanted us with her humour and very professional singer/songwriter style of folk-pop. she oozed confidence and enchanted us all.

Just as we thought all the excitement was over, a lady calling herself, simply, Al stepped up and using borrowed equipment, enthralled the kids in particular with her sublimely funny singalong and act-out children's song, covering subjects from dinosaurs to food. They were hilarious and had little budding stars queuing up to sing into the mike and hopefully not make it too soggy!

If we do it all again next year, I think it would be good to keep the same sort of atmosphere so even if Rockskool can return perhaps they could be encouraged to bring performers who can perform in this vain.



Anyway - thanks to all those who gave their services so freely and willingly.

A great day was had by all.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Up A Gumtree???

Brighton Gumtree is a brilliant site for info and ads about Community Events and Small Ads of all kinds.

I have directed you to the Brighon section but press the link anyway if you're somewhere else and you can navigate to your locality.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

HELP!!!!!!

Every year The Friends of Blaker's Parkhold a Community Picnic in the
Park

Traditionally we have always been able to provide live music as the
main entertainment at the event and it has usually been presented by
the brilliant Rock's Kool organisation which enables local youngsters
to develop their musical skills and form bands to perform to their
families, friends and the public

This year our Picnic will take place on Saturday 16th June between
11am and 5pm but sadly Rock's Kool is not available to perform.

So we are looking for performers and bands who would like to perform
short sets (about 15 minutes) through the day

We have got a couple of bands lined up at present but need several
more

Sadly we are unable to provide any offer of payment but performers
are
welcome to pass the hat should they be so inclined

There will be an electrical supply available but acts will need to
bring their own amps, mikes etc or go acoustic

If anyone is interested they should contact me, Abi Rhodes via

01273 270501

or

abi.rhodes@tiscali.co.uk

Saturday, February 10, 2007

1984 is here again

1984 is here again
Big brother is watching us....please consider signing this petition, or perhaps you already did?
...my name will be there right now! Happy motoring


If you drive a car, please read - Sarah Kennedy was talking about this proposed car tax scheme on Radio 2. Apparently there is only one month left to register your objection to the 'Pay As You Go' road tax.

The petition is on the 10 Downing St website but they didn't tell anybody about it. Therefore at the time of Sarah's comments only 250,000 people had signed it and 750,000 signatures are required for the government to at least take any notice.

Once you've given your details (you don't have to give your full address, just house number and postcode will do), they will send you an email with a link in it. Once you click on that link, you'll have signed the petition.
The government's proposal to introduce road pricing will mean you having to purchase a tracking device for your car and paying a monthly bill to use it. The tracking device will cost about £200 and in a recent study by the BBC, the lowest monthly bill was £28 for a rural florist and £194 for a delivery driver. A non working mother who used the car to take the kids to school paid £86 in one month.

On top of this massive increase in tax, you will be tracked. Somebody will know where you are at all times. They will also know how fast you have been going, so even if you accidentally creep over a speed limit in time you can probably expect a Notice of Intended Prosecution with your monthly
bill.

If you are concerned about this Orwellian plan and want to stop the constant bashing of the car driver, please sign the petition on No 10's new website (link below) and pass this on to as many people as possible.

Sign up if you value your freedom and democratic rights -

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/traveltax

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Local Shame

It is almost impossible to pick up a leaflet issued by B&H City Council without being struck by the PC virtues it apparently espouses. Whether it be their consideration for the environment, the concern they lavish on minority and disadvantaged groups or the lip-service they pay in encouraging community initiatives, they impress by the commitment they seem to give to every section of our very diverse society.

The Fiveways area is noted for a lack of facilities for the youth in its community and The Children's Musical Playhouse, currently operating from Beaconsfield Road, has been struggling to fill a gap in the culture of the area for several years now. Apart from the classes in music and dance provided to the children of local families, there have been successful projects working with handicapped and mental health groups - the very sections of the community the Council is so keen to support.

I was therefore saddened and somewhat surprised to hear that the Environmental Health Department has just refused to allow the music workshop to carry on its normal activities from the present address. This is about the sixth time this popular and worthwhile organisation has had to seek new accommodation. It must be very frustrating indeed for the folk who have put so much effort into developing each venue as they have moved from place to place. It is a mark of the importance and commitment they have in the community that supporters have not allowed them to become totally discouraged to the point of giving up. This is not to mention the amount of expense incurred and the time wasted in finding new funding at each relocation.

Is the Council incapable of putting its money where its mouth is by finding this excellent community initiative a permanent home from where it can get on with the job it has striven so hard to do for so many years without having to worry just how much longer it has to wait before it is forced to move on yet again?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Photos from Dorian

Here are a few pix taken with a mobile phone - they're very good aren't they?


Santa and Spin Doctor

Spin Doctor

Santa with his Dad?


Carol Singing at the first session

Blaker's Park Christmas Extravaganza......

.....happened on Saturday 17th December 2006. It was a bright sunny afternoon and Dishy starting to serve up her wonderful Christmas Fayre - Stilton Soup (mmmmmm), Mulled Wine and her Famous Mince Pies [we won't go until we got some]. Spin Doctors Disco played Christmas songs, children's favourites and popular tunes from the last hundred years.

At 2pm Greenwich Generous Time, there was a flurry of showflakes and a screech of reindeer brakes as none other than a Jolly Red Giant calling himself Santa Claus dropped by to dispense pre-holiday joy to passing bonny boys and good girls. He seemed to enjoy sampling the goodies from the cafe, boogying to the Christmas Beat and basking in the sunshine so much that he hung about to boost that ample waistline, top up his tan and groove along until the Great Yellow Orb disapppeared over the horizon and he began to feel a bit chilly - he finally followed the Sun in his sleigh around five.

Then our attention turned to carols. Now, we had had a bit of trouble finding Singers to lead the singing. Although the time had been set for six o'clock, the group from St Augustine's Methodist Church could only do their stuff about 5pm. So we went ahead with a diminished crowd of about 70 (cf last year, when in the pouring rain we had about 200 joining in. As these folk dispersed and 6 o'clock approached a further throng appeared and we were just trying to think how to assuage their disappointment at missing the carols when some other singers magically turned up like caped crusaders and saved the day. Unbeknownst to the organisers last year's musicians who were unavailable this time had asked them to come along in their stead. Thanks to one and all involved in saving the day in the nick of time! So we ended up with a second round of carol-singing this time with about 150 attending - bringing the total to well in excess of last year. Next year we are aiming for 250 in one go!

So, in the end, on the whole, the day went well and can be deemed to have been successful. Our thanks, as always go to Sally - aka Dishy - for her continued work in making the cafe a success and the park community come together on a regular basis for such wonderful events. Long may she reign!

It would have been so nice to have accompanied this report with some of the hundreds of photos which were snapped on the day. So help brighten up the page by emailing in some of your shots and we'll put them up as soon as they arrive.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

You are cordially invited......

.......to send in photos of Saturday's Christmas celebrations in Blaker's Park for publication on this Blog.Please send to abi.rhodes@tiscali.co.uk adding any notes and giving details of credit to be given. Thanks

Full report to follow shortly.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

News from deepest Hollingbury


I recently received the latest newsletter from our 'next-door neighbours' The Friends of Hollingbury & Burstead Woods. They too have recently inaugurated a website. To try it out click on the following 'grey area'



http://www.fhbw.co.nr

I'm sure they would be pleased to read your opinions of the site's merits so why not let them know?

Secretary Gill Taylor can be contacted at gtwizard2k@hotmail.com
& Treasurer Adrian Peasgood at adrian@peasgood.plus.com

Great Sunset over BP

I found this great photo by Paul Smith while surfing the Net yesterday. Paul has kindly agreed to me reproducing it here





Go to Paul Smith's Flickr page to see more - click on grey words for link

If you have any photos [or news or opinion etc] you'd like us to publish please get in touch via abi.rhodes@tiscali.co.uk or phone 01273 270501

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Thanks for the response

I'm pleased to say the jobs mentioned in the previous posting have been filled.
We could still do with a few more folk to come forward and offer their services as volunteers. If you can be of such help please go and see Sally in the cafe.

Meanwhile it would be good if you could indicate that you have visited this blog by clicking here and filling in the comment form that pops up.

Monday, November 27, 2006

HELP!.......PLEASE!!!!



Things are shaping up well for the Christmas Event in the Park on Saturday 16th December. But we are short of a couple of important things..

1. A volunteer to stand in for Santa in the Grotto as he is otherwise engaged that afternoon. The job description is for a person [no exemption under the Equal Opportunities Act] of cheerful disposition willing to be harrassed by children of excitable nature and who may not be too pleased about what Santa left them last year. Should be available for work (mainly sedentary)on the said date from approx 12 noon until 5 pm. Remuneration in cake and mulled wine, and the odd carrot for any lurking reindeer. [costume provided]

2. A small number of enthusiastic persons to lead and encourage the assembled hoard in Carol Singing from approx 5.30pm. Vox miribalis not necessary - just enough spunk to stand up and do it! [costume not provided]

Please apply either by email

abi.rhodes@tiscali.co.uk

or in person at the Park Cafe

[If you think you may be too late to apply, you probably aren't, so please do it anyway]

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Date for your Diary

Christmas is coming, The Goose is getting fat......

And is hoped that there will be a celebration of the approaching festivities around and about Dishy's Cafe in the Park on Saturday 16th December.

Last year, there were minced pies, mulled wine, music provided by Spin Doctors, Santa's Grotto, Carol Singing and so on.

I'm sure you want this event to happen but it will depend on people offering their services to help out with a variety of tasks leading upto and on the day. So, if you can to make yourself available, please drop ito the Caff and make your self known!

We're Official!!!!

As from this evening this is the official site for news, views etc of The Friends of Blaker's Park. It is hoped that in due course the contents of every issue of the Newsletter of FBP - past,present and future - will be posted here as an historical document for all to see and refer to. This Newsletter is normally published 4 times each year and is distributed to 2000 homes in the Preston/Fiveways area of Brighton. It is anticipated that this blog will attract an even wider readership in the City and from beyond.

We will be happy to print news and comment from all comers. The easiest way to do this is to post your comments etc using the 'Comments' button at the end of each posting, and by following the straightforward instruction which ensue. Alternatively you may use email to send in your contributions. We would also welcome contemporary or historic photographic and artistic views of the Park and surrounding area.


Of course, we will be keeping you up to date with developments in the Park, pending events, committee news and anything else which seems relevant. If you feel there is an aspect we are missing out, please let us know and we will try to accommodate your needs.

So please now consider this page to be officially launched

Friday, November 17, 2006

Halloween at Dishy's in the Park

here's a pic of Abi at work on Halloween in Blaker's Park
285551792_c62340b5441
goto Nicola Anthony's" Flickr account to see more of her fine fotos
thanks to Nicola for permission to reproduce the snap