It’s on Sunday…Chadkirk Festival 2014

Sunday 27th July 2014

The last Sunday in July, is traditionally the day for the Chadkirk Festival and this year is no exception.

All the preparations are in full swing this week. The Ford field is being prepared to serve as a car parking area. Creative volunteers are spending time in the Chapel at Chadkirk and transforming the design for this year’s well dressing into an eye catching display that will be unveiled at the start of Sunday’s festivities. There are banners and posters reminding people of the event. From midday on Sunday there will be five hours of activities to enjoy.

The Festival begins with the Mayor of Stockport blessing St. Chad’s Well.

From 12 midday, you will be able browse over 40 stalls, indulge in some food treats and enjoy the sights and sounds of music and dancing, wildlife and craftwork.

By the entrance to the Chadkirk Festival there will be a chance to see the donkeys from the sanctuary,and around the lawned area there will be falconry displays and the balloon show from award winning artists Rachel and Jason heart. Local craftsmen such as Austin Neeves and Arnold Parrott have stalls, along with the local taekwando group, Mellor Trust and The Heritage Trust.

On the lawned area there will be performances by local dance groups and demonstrations of taekwondo by students from a local group.

The Stockport Silver Band will play traditional music in the courtyard area outside Chadkirk Chapel.

In Chadkirk Chapel are the craft stalls of Country Fayre, Elaine Redford, Christine Smith, Maggie Harwood, Samantha Taylor and Irene Clare. The Chapel is also the place to go to see and hear the Tin’stle Bells Hand Bell Ringers. They perform at regular intervals throughout the afternoon. (A special thanks to this group – in 2013 Tin’stle Bells generously donated their fee towards the Window Fund.)

Outside in the Walled garden there will be face painting, willow weaving and barn owls to interest and entertain, as well as food stalls.

In the corner of the walled garden under the awnings, Friends of Chadkirk will be serving scones and tea and places to relax and refresh under the apple trees. Other members of the Friends of Chadkirk group will be offering plants for sale. This is one of the way that The Friends of Chadkirk group is able to raise money that can then be used to maintain and improve the environment of Chadkirk, the Chapel, Walled Gardens and the Country Park.

This year look out for a new stall: Romiley Remembers.

Entrance to the Chadkirk Festival is £2 for adults, Chidren 5-15 years £1. Under 5s : entrance is free.

For a visual reminder of all the fun of the festival…
see some photos from previous years.

What’s new at Chadkirk ….

July 2012 – New bridge across the river
July 2013 – New East Window in the Chapel
July 2014…what’s new at Chadkirk?

Observant walkers and strollers will have spotted them. Wooden hares. Or rabbits? 12 of them. Markers. Low down near ground level. Jumping rabbits? Or running hares? There to spark the interest of curious youngsters as they move around the new Chadkirk Trail. And from Friday, any one a bit taller who can read will be able to learn a little bit more about Chadkirk at each Hare point or Rabbit stop.

The old signs on the Chadkirk Trail have become so weathered that they are virtually opaque. On 11th July 2014 new information boards will be set up around the Chadkirk Country Park. There will be 11 on the Chadkirk Trail and a 12th down by the ‘new’ bridge. Each of them providing some information that will , for many visitors, add to their enjoyment of the unique landscape of Chadkirk.

Regular visitors will have chance to see the new boards from Friday onwards. If you are one of the many people who visit Chadkirk for Chadkirk Festival at the end of July, look out for the hares!

Plant Sale: This Saturday

Saturday 21 st June Midsummer Plant Sale and Seedling Swop
in the afternoon 1.30 -3.30pm in the garden at Chadkirk.

Please note that the sale will now start at 1-30pm.
This is an earlier time than previously published.

Midsummer plant sale

It’s June. Today is a fine day. A chance to enjoy the garden.
It’s an especially lovely time down at Chadkirk, with the fresh green of May still tangible. Now there’s the abundance of summer flowers too.

June is a month for gardens and gardeners. There’s opportunity to add new plants and see them thrive.

June at Chadkirk is also the time for the seedling swop and plant sale.
There’s local grower, Kim, (of Kim’s Cottage Garden Plants) with a stall to tempt both the novice and the experienced gardener alike. In previous years I have bought plants from Kim and been delighted at the price and the quality. I came away with several verbena plants and some pots of ornamental grasses for a fraction of the price you’d pay at the garden centre.

Then there’s also the Friends stall and seedling swop. Volunteers from the Friends team have been adding to their collections, germinating seeds, taking cuttings, making divisions. Any extra plants are donated to the stall for sale to raise funds. This to enable the Friends gardening team to keep the garden looking good, for all to enjoy.

Although I’ve potted on some cornus alba elegantissima and a number of hardy ferns from my own garden, my contribution is small compared to other long standing Friends of Chadkirk who have this down to a fine art!

Saturday 21 st June Midsummer Plant Sale and Seedling Swop
in the afternoon 1.30 -3.30pm in the garden at Chadkirk.

Time to cast yer clouts…?

Bank holiday weekend. Fine weather forecast. On Monday 14 Celcius is the projected high. Warm and gentle sunshine: pleasant for those walking through the lanes or the woods at Chadkirk. Ideal for sitting on a bench in the Walled Garden and taking time to enjoy being in a lovely corner of our pleasant land. True, no roses to smell just yet; otherwise there’s plenty to delight the senses.

May day morning. Photo: Artemisia

May day morning.
Photo: Artemisia

An early start... Photo: Artemisia

An early start…
Photo: Artemisia

Herb beds in The Walled Garden, Chadkirk

Seeds are sown...poppies for the festival. Photo: Artemisia

Seeds are sown…poppies for the festival.
Photo: Artemisia

Monday morning...The Walled Garden on May Day Bank Holiday. Photo: Artemisia

Monday morning…The Walled Garden on May Day Bank Holiday.
Photo: Artemisia

The Friends of Chadkirk gardening team has been busy in the Walled Garden, weeding and preparing the herb beds for future growth. Thanks to the time and energy they give, there’s plenty to enjoy now and the prospect of more to come as the seasons unfold.

After an April that has been one of the three warmest on record, growth in the gardens, meadows and the woods at Chadkirk is ahead of usual. Maybe a good month ahead of last year? So with the weather warming, is now the time to cast yer clouts?

The saying – Na’er cast a clout till may is out – refers , not to the month of May, but to the May blossom or Hawthorn. The Hawthorn blossoms are cascading in our hedgerows, so perhaps you can dare to go about without clouts?

1st May 2014

Tomorrow evening the Friends of Chadkrik meet in the Chapel at 7.30.
In addition to the normal business, a representative of Stockport MBC will be present. The first item on the agenda will be a run through of arrangements for the festival in July. Friends – old and new – are welcome to come along listen in, share ideas and get involved.

A seat with a view

During the winter and early spring, there have been small yet significant changes at Chadkirk. Regular visitors will have noticed that some of the paths have been upgraded. If you use the path that leads through the lower slopes of Kirk Wood, you might notice too that the area behind the Walled Garden has been cleared. The scramble of brambles in front of the east wall has been cleared by the Friends of Chadkirk team of volunteer gardeners. For those lucky enough to have some time to sit and stare, there’s a chance to see over the garden wall.

The Walled Garden from the east. Photo: Artemisia

The Walled Garden from the east.
Photo: Artemisia