Old and New (with a bit of dog poo)

Well it rained.  But were we deterred?

Well a little – it was a bit quiet in Stubbylee today but I still had a great day - meeting up with old park acquaintances, like Gary with his chickens…

…and new people, like Rose and her dog Tiny…

…and also taking quiet moments to write-up some of the stories floating around in my head.  I’m currently writing a monologue about a fictional dog-walking widower, (based on an amalgam of lots of stories I’ve heard), and one of the Greenhouse volunteers has agreed to record it with me on Thursday.  So I better get it written now…

A lot of the people I’ve met are dog-walkers, so if you can’t beat ‘em – borrow a couple of dogs and get dragged around the park for half an hour.  Meet my husky team – Moomin and Cookie:

Cookie initiated me into my first ‘Poo-bagging’.  Which was nice.  And at the end of the day Laura, ’The Grand Fromage’ (Terry’s words, not mine), came to visit, and started to carve out a new career for herself.

And now – back to writing that monologue…






The Circus of Life

A lot more walking round the park with people today.  Heard lots more stories, including when the circus came to Stubbylee Park: a Camel looked over the back fence, and an Elephant had a wee on Tony’s foot.

The day started off a bit grey






Then got sunnier






And by the time evening was drawing in, it was rather glorious…


Its all go go go

I spent monday sorting out Lucy’s work for corporation park and trying to work out better ways of uploading lots of content to the App. Aslo watch and cut p Lucy’s videos interviews with people who use the parks and their was some great information in there. Emma is a star! and her interview is great. It really shows her love for the park and it was quite moving.

Also editing together Lindsay’s Cyanotypes that she has made by herself and with people from the park to make them ready for use in the App. If you Want to see the full size images of this then you will have to download the app and go and find them. The content is becoming really exciting, and going out and finding them definitely be worth the effort.

Day 15 – A spot of painting

So…after spending yet more time thinking about the conservatory and her physical state, I decided to paint over the boards that are covering the broken windows.

Somehow looking at them and seeing the name and number of the glaziers stencilled in huge blue figures makes the conservatory look derelict and abandoned.

So, I started with a coat of primer and then covered them with a nice layer of gold paint. The gold looks strangely similar to the colour of the wooden chipboard but then in certain lights it catches and shines.

My plan is to write large words on top of the gold in a beautiful Oriental Red paint. I’ll do this on Saturday morning so you’ll have to wait and see…

I also took a few more pictures in the park on Saturday using the gilt frame. Not great photos technically but it’s still proving to be a good way to get people talking. Just I was leaving the park on saturday I walked right into a freshly married couple and their entourage. What a scoop!

Day 14 – A series of interviews…

Today I spent some time editing down all the interviews I’ve managed to have with people in or connected to Corporation Park.

It made me realise how many amazing characters I’ve met in the past two weeks, I feel very fortunate to have been welcomed into the park and that people have been so willing to share their stories, opinions and memories with me. It’s a genuine privilege.

The film I made today was too large to upload to Vimeo in its entirety so here are some snippets:

Emma – Park Warden: https://vimeo.com/52342726

Hassan & Ruksar: https://vimeo.com/52343251

Richard Croasdale: https://vimeo.com/52343751





The Portable Park – 20.10.2012

portable park

portable park

I decided it was time to take the park for a walk around town. Today I took part in the Portas Event at Nelson. We started at the ACE Centre, and got a free market stall where I placed the Portable Park and some of its ingredients. I invited people to come and make a picture of a park using these ingredients. I met lots of interesting people, some were familiar with Marsden Park, others say they’ve never been. One gentleman recalled his teenage years in the pavilion: ” We used to sit around in the pavilion with a tape-recorder and listen to Pink Floyd, we’ve had some good times there”.  Another gentleman reminisced about his friend, Jim Coles: “He was a really intelligent man. He used to have a garage opposite Marsden Hall with old cars. The garage is still there. One lady remembered the Old Hall when it was a restaurant, and spoke highly of the fish. She told me: “Personally I wouldn’t go thre now because I don’t feel it’s safe and have no one to go with.”

I asked people which parks they visit, and what makes a good park.  A nice family came down from Colne, and listed the parks they like Leyland and Worden park has nice paths to ride your bikes, play area and minigolf, a maze, an ice cream shop. They were on their way to see the sculpture trail in Barley. What kind of art do they like, I asked. Something interactive, so you can touch it, that moves, ‘ was the answer.

picture of a park

I also met a softly spoken man called Michael Mruoding, who told me some sad stories. He used to walk the park everyday when he had a dog. She passed away. He spoke lovingly of the county, saying ‘that’s why people who come stay round here.’ He mentioned the shopping centre that opened in the 60′s: “When I was only 5 my dad took me when it first opened. When they built it it destroyed the community.” I heard this sentiment in different circles.

After a few hours at the ACE, I decided to take the park to the shops. Our first stop was Naeem fabric shop. I was instructed to take a photograph almost as soon as I walked through the door. Here it is:


Next I went to a Polish delicatessen opposite. ‘Do you go to the park?’ I enquired. ‘I have no time,’ confessed the smiling young man apologetically. We ended the day in the library. ( I was not allowed to take a photograph inside the library for some reason.)   A few curious children gathering round me. ‘What have you got there?’ they pointed. We talked about parks. ‘Do you like parks, are they useful, should we have parks in the future?’ A lively discussion sparked up, with the children telling me why parks are important. They didn’t need to convince me.

portable park



Scooting around Stubby

I was worried that today would be so cold, that I would be wishing the time away, but it turned into one of the loveliest days I’ve spent in the park.  I started doing very short audio recordings of people’s comments about the park.  My plan is to edit them all together into a montage of descriptions – all different opinions in different voices – showing directly what Stubbylee park means to this community.

My first victims were the lovely ladies of the ‘Friends of Stubbylee’ who I’ve been meeting up with fairly regularly.  After initial horror at being recorded, they all gave me some lovely and varied responses.

For the rest of the day I then seemed to bounce from person to person  - Gary, Alan, Roger, Steve, Tom, Christine, Dennis, Sarah, Pat, Vicky, Pat (a different one), Scott, Aidan, Fabio, John, Katie, Hannah, Lucy – chatting, walking and recording snippets all day.

Just before I left the park I popped into the skate park, where I noticed this.

I showed the poem I’d written about scooter-riding to the young lads who were…well, scooter-riding and doing stunts at the skate park.  I wanted them to check that it made sense and that I’d used all the scooting terms correctly.  My poem passed muster!  And they let me video them doing their ‘ollies’ and ‘flips’.  (I can’t put it up till I’ve got permission from their folks but), they were really good, and apparently they’ve not been doing it that long.

This is the poem -
(btw Luke Pickett is a famous pro stunt scooter-rider.  But you knew that):

I May Not Be Luke Pickett

I may not be Luke Pickett
But I can still kick-it
On the jump-box,
I out-fox
And fly.
I may not be Luke Pickett
But I’ve got the golden ticket -
With a grind
I unwind,
Find sanity,
So high.

I have flair
Getting air
I’m sorted
With my MGP
I’m floating free
Way above Stubbylee
Just my scooter and me.

I’m hoping I can get someone to read the poem over the film of the boys scooting…

Fingers crossed!