Carers Walk n’ Talk
Stage 5 of the Tour of Britain raced through the park this week in what was surely one of the greatest events the Wirral has ever witnessed. Thousands of race fans, families and spectators turned out to support the cyclists and enjoy the festivities.
Birkenhead Park was incredibly proud to host this event, and we would like to extend our deepest thanks to all of the staff, event team and volunteers, who made this a day to remember, without dedicated teams like these, events like this wouldn’t happen!
The Wooden Parliament is located behind the Visitor Center, creating a space immersed within the natural order of the park, and is open to the public.
It looks to articulate the way architecture can serve as a mediator between people and encourage the public to interact in a way they wouldn’t have before.
The brightly coloured structure is overtly patterned and covered in a series of enlarged wooden knots that follow the precise geometry of the pavilion, as well as a centrally placed disk which acts as a door.
‘The Wooden Parliament’ is considered a displacement of a private interior in a public space and inside rows of steps face each other to create platforms or seating to encourage debate, conversation and contemplation.
The Wooden Parliament is designed by Spanish architects Cristina Díaz Moreno and Efrén Ga Grinda of the Madrid-based practice AMID.cero9, sponsored by the Spanish timber company Finsa, supported by Coal Drops Yard and organised by the Museum of Architecture.
On Wednesday 5th April 2017, Birkenhead Park celebrated the 170th anniversary of its opening. Luckily for us – the weather was much better than it was all the way back in 1847, when 10,000 people stood in the rain at the gates to the Grand Entrance to be officially welcomed to the World’s First Publicly Funded Park. At 170 years old, the Park still looks as fantastic and well-kept as it ever has been, and of course we had to have some form of celebration.
This year’s anniversary celebration focussed on one of the prominent figures of Birkenhead Park’s creation and early years: Edward Kemp. In recognition of Kemp’s achievements and influence in Parks in Britain, the Birkenhead Park team worked alongside Conservation Areas Wirral to hold a special civic reception for the unveiling of a new Blue Plaque at the Visitor Centre. There were guest speakers talking about Birkenhead Park and the contributions Edward Kemp made to the early years of the Park and the plaque was dedicated by Wirral Mayor Cllr Pat Hackett shortly after midday. The event guests enjoyed a fantastic buffet laid on by the catering students of Wirral Metropolitan College, in addition to a special anniversary cake.
We’d like to give special thanks everyone involved with making our special anniversary celebration so successful, and we hope the rest of our celebrations this year go just as well.
Back in October 2016, our ranger team organised a special event which took place in the evening around our lower lake. We invited our local community to join us in remembrance of those who are no longer with us. Working with Cruse Bereavement Charity, we created several hundred origami boats which visitors could personalise with their own messages, before setting them afloat on the lake with a candle.
The event raised more than £170 for Cruse Bereavement Charity, and we received a lot of positive feedback for the event. It is our intent to continue this event around the same time this year.
During the 2016 festive season, the team in Birkenhead Park organised a number of charitable ventures, organising a raffle and a “Name the Bear” competition in order to raise some money for the Arrowe Park Premature Birth Unit. In total, the team raised over £200 for this good cause.
Our biggest achievement for our Christmas charitable activities by far was a lunch specially laid out for the elderly at risk this winter. Organised by our Ranger Team, we invited 30 elderly residents from nearby areas to have a Christmas meal on us, held in our function room. We received a number of donations from individuals and numerous businesses in Birkenhead with food, vouchers and items to put into our special care hampers, to help our guests during the cold winter.
For the first time, Birkenhead Park held a Victorian Market in the week leading up to Christmas. The community event was set up to provide an attraction for locals and visitors to enjoy the Park in the festive season. A number of rustic chalets that sold various seasonal food, drink and gifts where set up around the Visitor Centre and children’s attractions were included as well, promising to be a fun day out for all ages. The Birkenhead Park Ranger team constructed a Christmas Grotto in the style of a Victorian Market street in the Visitor Centre itself, ready for Santa to come and visit! Santa’s Grotto was overall the highlight of the event generating a lot of traffic and smiles and forcing us to call him in for impromtu sessions!
The event as a whole was popular throughout the weekend, generating alot of money for charity through the various raffles and competitions we where holding and our team were extremely busy throughout to cater for so many visitors. Unfortunately, the event remained very quiet throughout the rest of the week, despite the best efforts of the team in the Park. We’d like to thank everyone who was involved with and contributed to the running of our Christmas Market. It is unlikely that we will carry out something so ambitious for Christmas 2017, but we will ensure that there is something available for the festivities!