Help the Birthday Party 2017

birthday party 2016

The Birthday Party is the biggest event in Rowntree Park and it’s always lovely to see the park so full of people having a great time. The date for 2017 is Sunday July 16th.

However organising the Birthday Party is a major undertaking, with many hours being spent on planning, and on the day itself. A lot of the work is done by the Friends, as volunteers, but there are a lot of items which can’t be done for free. Obviously there is income from the stall-holders and various attractions, but this will not cover the anticipated costs. The costs this year will additionally include the hire of Portaloos, the payment of security personnel (to take care of car parking, in particular) and contributing to the costs of the event co-ordinator, as well as the ‘regular’ costs of paying First Aiders, event licence, event insurance, printing flyers/posters etc.

If we are to go ahead, the Friends need to be able to cover the costs, and so we are trying to raise £2292 using a crowdfunding scheme called Spacehive, and you can see our appeal here:

If you would like to help by making a pledge, I hope that you find the system fairly easy to use (it is quite similar to sponsoring people via Justgiving) and that you can pass the idea on to friends and family. Because we are trying to demonstrate the level of support, your pledge can be a very token contribution – the smallest amount is £2. And, if the total amount is not raised by 1st June, then you will not be charged at all. Cheques/cash are not practical in this situation, I’m afraid. Additionally, if you know of any businesses that might want to sponsor the event, do let them know about this appeal.

Thanks for your help!


The Friends in 2014

winter 2013-14The park looks so beautiful with a strong frost and a clear sky, although it hasn’t always been quite so stunning this year!

The Friends had their first 2014 meeting in January, swiftly followed by the first 2014 meeting of the Birthday Party planning team, in the congenial setting of the Slip Inn. As the council is no longer able to run the Party, the Friends have decided to take it on theirselves. It’ll be a quite a big thing to organise, as a voluntary group but a good team of ‘party planners’ has built up, and we have an able co-ordinator, Sue Scott, who will keep us all communicating and exchanging ideas. At the meeting we were delighted to welcome a Friend of West Bank Park (they are also intending to run their own Fair this year), as well as Jenny (who was the Park Ranger) whose experience in running the Party previously will be invaluable. We are collating ideas of stalls and attractions. If you would like to join the planning group or just to volunteer on the day – or if you have ideas about the party, get in contact using the usual Facebook link or email info We’re looking for someone to help co-ordinate our musical offerings – could this be you? If you just want to keep in touch with how our plans are going, click on ‘Going’ on the Facebook event page. Meanwhile, make sure you put the date in your diary – Sunday 20th July.

Autumn colours

leaflet oct13 frontThe long summer of 2013 is finished, and now there is a beautiful blaze of autumn colour in the park. The British autumn always brings with it a crop of fruit, and a crop of Annual General Meetings – and the Friends of Rowntree Park are no different. At the AGM on October 10th, those present discussed the Friends’ work in 2013, and outlined their ideas for 2014.

Over the next few months, the Friends will be working with council staff to source new display/information boards for the park, which the Friends will pay for. We are proposing some children’s art workshops (free to Friends), in the lead up to Christmas, so watch out for further details.

We also discussed the new membership leaflet, created by local designer Katherine Semple (the October 2013 version is pictured here). A hundred copies of the leaflet had been taken by visitors to the park cafe, but without any noticeable corresponding increase in membership!

The major event in 2014 will be the Birthday Party which, this year, the Friends need to take the lead on, because the council no longer has a Ranger Service. If you are interested in helping either in planning the event or on the day itself, get in contact with the Friends as soon as possible – if we cannot create a Party working group, we cannot hold the Birthday Party next year! We are specifically looking for someone to co-ordinate the entertainments, and someone to be the main contact point for the event.

This year’s AGM also saw a new Chair of the Friends, Hugo Bentley, replacing Mike Heyworth, who retired after many years in the post. Hugo lives on Bishopthorpe Road, and is a regular park-user; he and his dog, Digby, are out everyday, at least twice a day, often with Hugo’s wife Rosemary (known as Bud). Many thanks to both old and new Chairs, and to all the active members of the committee, for all their hard work.