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Smirthwaite Park Newsletter

New Group Formed

Friends of Smirthwaite Park are a number of people who have decided to follow in the footsteps of other ‘Friends Groups’ formed throughout the Wakefield Metropolitan District Council area that are already very successfully involved in enhancing facilities, recreation and planning of their park area and gardens. The first meeting of the group was held in June 2005, a committee has been formed, constitution written and regular meetings have been held in the Normanton Catholic Club since that day. Friends of Smirthwaite Park are a non profit-making organisation.

Why?

For a number of years, vandalism and hooliganism have affected the use of the park and its surrounding area. The Pavilion used to be used all year round not only for the Bowling Club but as a place for people to meet, make refreshments and enjoy each others company. Unfortunately, due to repeated vandalism it became impossible for this to continue and the building has lately only used by members of the bowling club, who with limited facilities were able to provide refreshments for visiting teams. The fire in early summer 2005 completely destroyed the interior of the building and now the very existence of the bowling club is in danger. The toilets are also under continual attack by vandals, indeed there is only one toilet now working and this has to be kept locked up at all times to prevent further damage. It is vital for the future of the bowling green to remember that other people than bowlers have no place on the green. IT IS NOT A PLAY AREA FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTHS. We urge you to be vigilant and if you see anyone who should not be there please contact Neighbourhood Action Patrollers on 08458 506506. It is the group's intention to restore and improve these facilities and to actively encourage other organisations to use them as well.

Colonel Smirthwaite?

Does anyone know who this gentleman was? Is it true he donated the Park to the people of Normanton? Are there any old records regarding the Smirthwaite Park area? If you have any information please contact us.

The Future

We are at present seeking funding for any new projects but in order for any applications to be successful we need a PLAN. A questionnaire will shortly be issued requesting the local community to forward their thoughts on how they see the future of the Park. How do you want the Park to look and what facilities would you like, what would you like the Park to be used for? Your ideas are important please contact us, please join our group and be a member of our committee.

The Local Council

We are pleased that employees representing Wakefield Metropolitan District Council have attended every meeting held since the Groups first meeting and have kindly offered a great deal of advice and support, we hope that their participation continues and look forward to working with them in the future.

The Bowling Club

The bowling green is one of the oldest greens in Yorkshire and was opened in the year 1897. The bowling club are members of Castleford & District Crown Green Bowling Association and are present Champions of the associations Evening League Division One a repeat of their 2003 efforts. It is proud of its past and amongst its playing members are four people who currently represent their County. Three of these are Normanton born and bred and we are proud that they were taught the game on Smirthwaite Park Bowling Green and continue to represent the club. The club has also in the past run highly successful Junior Bowling teams. If there is enough interest from young people this could be formed again.