Spike then introduced the Royal Party to representatives of Wyre Forest District Council which own, maintain and develop the park. He also introduced the Royal Party to other organisations that have supported the development of the Friends group. These include Vestia Community Trust – part of Community Housing Group and West Mercia Police.
The Royal Party toured the park and met users, sponsors and other supporters. A unique story board was created for the event to show the history of the park and display the ambitions of the Friends group.
Relatives of the original founders of the park, Mr G Woodward, Mr R Brinton and Mr C Brinton attended the event and replicated the planting of trees which took place at the opening ceremony in 1927.
During the 40 minute visit, the Royal Party saw young people from King Charles 1 School using the basket ball court and BMX track. Children from St George’s Church of England Primary School were keen to tell the Royal Party about their recent ‘Daffodil Day’ when they helped the Friends group plant 6,000 bulbs in the park, which was funded by Grassroots Grants.
The visit concluded with the Duke of Kent unveiling a new community notice board at the park entrance.
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“It was a proud moment to receive a Royal visitor to this park which is a wonderful example of partners working together to create a valued community space. St George’s is not a big park, but there is always a lot going on and it has so much to offer local people that it already contributes enormously to community life. This is down to the co-operation and the shared vision of the Council, Friends of St George’s and Vestia, as well as the local community and partners such as the Police. We invite people who have not visited the park, to do so, in the hope that it inspires other community groups and individuals to get involved with the future development of their own local park – the Council would be delighted to hear from them.”
Marina Banner, Executive Director of Vestia Community Trust said “This park is a fantastic example of what happens when communities and local agencies pull together to make improvements. We are very pleased to be part of this successful partnership and to be able to provide both training and support to the community to continue the great work already undertaken.”
Spike, Chair of Friends of St Georges Park said
“Our park is already steeped in history so to receive a Royal visit is a real honour for the Horsefair area. The Duke’s visit recognises the effort and achievements of everyone involved with our group and the hard work of all who look after the park. We are successful because we have a great park and the local community want to be involved. On behalf of the group I would like to take this opportunity to thank local residents, Police, Wyre Forest District Council and Vestia for their support since we started in 2008 and we look forward to working together in the future.”