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The FunDay on the 4th June 2012 was a great success - we had lots and lots of very positive feedback. The weather was very good in the final days leading up to the big day, helping to dry the field out. The weather on the FunDay couldn’t have been better.

We estimate that around 3500 - 4000 people attended. There was a continuous stream of people arriving throughout the day. The food stalls, coffee van and ice cream van were nearly overwhelmed by the demand - food supplies had to be replenished several times! The community group tent had a busy and successful day as well. The Alwoodley Allotment Association got several pages of signatures supporting Allotments in Alwoodley and urging LCC to speed up the creation process. They signed up a dozen or more new members as well.

The real highlight of the day though was to see the pleasure and excitement in the faces of the children as they tried out the various rides. The providers, Active Hire, managed things superbly, keeping the queues short and not letting small matter like being youngsters without money spoil anyone’s fun. It was a deliberate choice to charge only 20p per ride - in fact we didn’t want to charge at all but Brian asked if they could simply to help his team “control” the queues! The money charged for the rides raised £800 for local charities - that is a lot of fun for a lot of people being translated into support for our charities! We only had one parent complain that 20p was too much - still you can’t please everyone!

We supported the ACA beer tent by paying their setting up costs - did you realise that pubs now have to pay brewers to deliver the beer? I didn’t! - and from the happy crowds around it, it was money well spent. Our licence only covered the bar area and so our “support patrols” (those people in yellow vests wandering around all day) occasionally had to ask people to take their beer back into the licensed area - again we only had one ”barrack room lawyer” who objected and he appeared to being suffering from a little too much of product under discussion!

The “Team of Four” deserve all the credit - they worked extremely hard for several months to organise, liaise, inform and wade through the piles of H&SAW paperwork and risk assessments as well as coordinating the other councillors who were drafted in in the final stages. Take a bow Carol, Judith, Sue and Lyn!

Local resident, Jerry Allen, an experienced project manager, stepped in at the point when LCC announced half way through that despite hiring a professional event organiser, we, the Parish Council, were ultimately responsible in law (councillors losing houses and being in the court dock were mentioned at the time). In fact it turned out that it couldn’t be the council as an organisation but had to be two individuals who were required to volunteer and Jerry helped us negotiate the minefield of legal requirements - he saved at least one member of the council  from a breakdown! (I speak for myself but I suspect others would have been far more stressed without his calm and calming influence).

One comment that stands out for me was from the lady who enthused about how the community feel in her part of Alwoodley had been enhanced throughout the months of preparation. Her final comment was . . . . “It has had such a positive impact on community spirit - you must organise more of these events,  . . . . even if it’s only once a year”

(Anyone interested in forming a working group for an annual event, please contact our Clerk!)

We were on duty from 10:00am to 4:00pm (some of us 7:00am to 6:00pm!) but is was well worth it in terms of smiles generated per hour!!

The playground renovation, new picnic tables and Jubilee Garden & Oak have also been a great success with the punters! It’s great to see parents being able to have a sit whilst their offspring play and then have picnics to finish things off! It’s amazing to realise that the same “Team of Four” sorted that out as well! Our thanks to Liz Amirahmadi (of Amira Gardens) for freely giving her time and expertise in designing the bed and sculpture and for travelling across Yorkshire to source and collect the plants and for planting the bed!

The final part of our Jubilee celebrations - small groups of trees for King lane - has come to fruition - though we had a scary time during the Summer eatwave - I’m not sure whether we or the trees were more stressed, but dailing watering saw it through!; We also know where all the water mains, sewage, gas pipes and electricity conduits are along that stretch of greenery - you wouldn’t believe the volume of material buried there providing out essential services!

The final stage will be to plant some of those wonderful wildflower beds that were trailled near the Moor Allerton Centre and perhaps (if there is a demand) install some benches so that locals can sit and contemplate it all!

Photo’s from the day can be seen here              Photo’s of the Jubilee Garden creation can be seen here

Photo’s picnic tables and oak tree can be seen here              Photo’s of the playground refurb can be seen here