Friends of Chadkirk meet on the first Thursday of every month.
One month it’s a business meeting , the next it’s a social get together.
On August 2nd they’ll be relaxing with a post festival picnic.
Bring and share/ pot luck supper.
New members welcome.
Membership Fee is a one off payment of £5.
Not an extravaganza.
There were no fireworks or dancers, no cast of thousands.
it was a very British event.
Sunshine and showers. Brollies up. Brollies down.
A gathering of the mildly interested mixing with enthusiasts and passers by.
Lots of dogs and their walkers.*
There were speeches, of course. Though for most of those assembled odd words drifted…and…you…thanks… the rest was carried away downstream. Still, we waited patiently, with gentle anticiaption. I gather there was a Big Cheese from Sustrans and a local sporting hero. Though no ribbon to cut or bottles of bubbly to smash, once the speeches ended there was the pleasure of being amongst the first across Chadkirk Bridge and a new view upsteam.
Given that the project was envisioned by Sustrans it was fitting that a group of cyclists from Chorlton were amongst the first wave.
Standing patiently, horse riders wait their turn. In future the traffic will flow and passing places on the bridge allow room for horses, bikes, walkers and dogs to cross.
As Ted said…No Red Arrows..though high up two Herons wheeled by in one of those lovely spells of blue skies and sunshine.
All quietly satisfying. In a very British kind of way.
*Dogs (and their walkers) are also a big part of the pleasure at the Chadkirk Festival. Whether they are as well behaved as they appear, I’ve no idea. A visit to Chadkirk Festival would have you think that they are all biddable and friendly.
Planning for the Well Dressing starts in Spring. Then there’s a week of activity in the Chapel with volunteers creating a work, making the designer’s plans manifest. On the day, there’s something of beauty for all to enjoy.
The Well Dressing kicks off a busy day. So much to see and do. The Friends of Chadkirk seemed a little swan-like. You know what I mean? Relaxed and laughing, enjoying themselves. You’d never guess how much they had done to help the festival flow so smoothly.
At midday there were 500 freshly baked scones; halved and served with a generous dollop of cream and strawberries on the Friends refreshment stall. This stall was popular from the start of the festival. Apologies to those who came after 2.30pm. By then we’d sold out! Fortunately there were plenty of other goodies to be enjoyed. Tables clustered in the walled garden and outside the Chapel were busy throughout the afternoon.
In the morning sunshine over 30 stalls clustered in the walled garden and lined the lawn.
The festival , a short stroll along from the bridge, already has a lively and convivial feel. No shortage of demand for tea, scones and strawberries.
Many of those who came to see the bridge opening are also enjoying the festival.
The opening ceremony is to be at 11.30 am on Sunday 29th July 2012.
This means that visitors can enjoy the ceremony before strolling along for the start of Chadkirk Festival at 12.00 midday.
As Ian Fletcher might say…so that’s all good then.
On Monday the fair weather meant that work on the bridge was able to proceed on plan. This means that the waterproof membrane could be laid and then the non-slip coating applied. Some of the site cabins have been moved; during the rest of the week the site will be cleared up ready for the opening on Sunday 29th July at the Chadkirk Festival.
Additional parking for the Chadkirk Festival is usually in the Ford Field. This is where the contractors have been based during bridge construction. Frequent deluges in recent months meant that the field was, well, a bit of a quagmire. On Friday, I think most people would have been pessimistic. How many days of dry weather would be needed for it to dry out? What were the chances that would happen in time for the festival? The answers are: fewer days than you might think and better than most would have guessed. Remarkably, after a dry and warm weekend the Estate Manager has been able to cut the meadow, the ground is dry enough for parking and another of piece of the jigsaw falls into place.
Although the Bridge opening is a few days away, visitors to Chadkirk are already benefiting from some of the work that has been carried out this summer.
This new footpath is open which means that pedestrians now have a hedge between them and passing cars. It’s safer and there’s a better view of the meadow and grazing livestock.
So a little bit of good news. In fact, three bits of good news. Yeh!
Oh and there’s also some beautiful flowers in the Walled Garden looking good despite the worst summer in 100 years.