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Autumn in the Park

Autumn in the Park

The great Mailing Operation took place a couple of weeks ago and we have been very grateful for all the kind feedback from you, our members. Words and pictures have both been mentioned as well as the new’ish design. Chauncey the dog (back page) is being recognised on his park walks and is soon going to sign autographs with a delicate dab of his paw.

The Annual Review was posted to our nearly 800 members plus numerous other comps to Royal Parks staff, friends from other Royal Parks, and many generous supporters. So, it’s quite an operation after which we all breathe a sigh of relief. Lynden, our membership secretary, master minded it (she sends this newsletter to you too) and a very noble bunch of trustees and other family members were roped in to assist.

Now back to our more informal way of keeping you up to date…..

The Hudson Memorial, Hyde Park

This is situated close to West Carriage Drive and in the bird sanctuary area. This is the native planted woodland which borders the nursery. It is particularly successful as an environment for small birds.

The memorial was built in 1924 to commemorate novelist, naturalist and ornithologist W H Hudson. It was very controversial right from the start as the bas relief by Jacob Epstein was considered indecent, more surprisingly the lettering by Eric Gill did not raise any objections. The area had become overgrown and a few years ago some tree and shrub clearing took place and efforts were made to sort out the long narrow pools. It was not totally successful, the pools at the back are very shallow and fill with leaves and the pipe work to the front bigger pool is very narrow.

Lots of action though is now in progress as 2022 marks the 150th Anniversary of William Hudson’s death. The surrounding hazel and self set elder has been coppiced, more clearing is taking place and a dead hedge created behind the side railings (already a successful version is doing well in the same area a few yards further north). Corporate Volunteers have been hard at work. Rowan trees will be planted round the back after more clearing, their berries providing feasts for robins, blackbirds, tits, wrens and gold crests.

The water at the front will be restored and provide a reliable small body of water which hopefully won’t be overwhelmed by blanket weed. The lawn will continue with wild flower meadow type planting up until it is mowed in early summer and then it’ll look like a slightly shaggy lawn for the rest of the year. A new interpretation board will be installed in front of the memorial. Rima the goddess of nature who featured in one of Hudson’s novels presides peacefully with her rather long and chunky arms and hands gently raised to all the strange birds round her.

For us hungry ones AKA “The Eating and Drinking Update”
Palace Gate Kiosk
Some older, long-standing park visitors may remember the Honest Sausage kiosk in Kensington Gardens? It was the name of the kiosk at the Palace Gate entrance and was much appreciated by a certain young Prince who enjoyed a breakfast bap there after a hard night of clubbing. Total discretion was always shown and the breakfast chef would never say a word and neither would the fellow gourmets so, the paparazzi never got to sneak up on him and his friends. Fast forward and the kiosk is now run by Colicci with the bacon bap having been dropped from the menu board as there wasn’t much appetite for it. Clearly, we are not like Richmond Park visitors who consume record numbers of these delicacies. I ate them there as a reward at the end of long freezing lock down walks sitting on a fallen tree trunk. So delicious!
Khuram serves up a treat!
Hot news … the bap is back in Kensington Gardens, at Palace Gate, for a trial period which started a week ago. So, if you want this treat for breakfast or lunch to continue do support them and hope they stay on the menu.
 Super service in The Lido
The Lido is now open as it was designed to be, the hatch is no more and choosing and ordering takes place indoors. The seating is in cosy booths or at tables with a view of the water is very welcome on colder days. The Rooftop Garden is closed for the winter.

Deckchair Generosity

And when we think of sitting in gardens and basking, it is good news that Nick Kwabi, of Park Deckchairs, has very generously offered our members a season ticket for the hire of deckchairs at a 30% discount.
A non-concession rate season ticket will be £77
A concession rate season ticket will be £31.50
Many thanks to Nick on behalf of those members who enjoy a regular relax in the sun in a deckchair.

Wellington Arch taken from inside Apsley House at Hyde Park Corner

Congratulations to member Harry Reid who wrote a stand-alone newsletter for us back in April about Decimus Burton. Harry hasn’t been able to return to London since the pandemic but keeps in regular touch from Hong Kong. His very thoroughly researched piece accompanied by good photographs, which he’d taken the year before we were all locked down, was spotted and has now gone further. It was published in a local residents magazine and then the Decimus Burton Society picked it up and published it. He has now been asked to write more pieces on the subject, but as I believe Decimus Burton was particularly busy in St Leonards, near Hastings, I don’t suppose it’ll involve either of our parks.

Plant Fever

It was a glorious autumn day on Thursday for our members plant sale in the Hyde Park Nursery. Thanks to Mike Jones, the Manager, and all the Trustees who helped out. There were some lovely collections of plants selected to enrich window boxes, pots and gardens through to next spring. As always colours and interesting combinations of leaf shapes were carefully chosen.
Pretty as a primrose!

A quiet two minutes of contemplation took place at 11am. which was especially poignant as we stood surrounded by wonderful Native woodland trees in full Autumn foliage.

A good sum will have been raised for the Royal Parks Charity.

Kensington Gardens Broadwalk

The major digging here might have puzzled you. A cable is being laid from north to south of the Park. The benefit is financial from the fees charged. However, the extra good news is, the pay back will include a complete resurfacing of the entire length. This is something which manager, Andy Williams has longed for for some time but with nothing in the budget, nor any chance of there being, it was a bit of a forlorn hope. Andy is really very pleased, so no longer any Broadwalk patch work effects. A little patience may be needed particularly during busier times, because although it will remain open it will be a lot narrower in places.
 Pain for Gain!  The Kensington Broad Walk

I’m off on a little jaunt for two weeks, it’s the first time abroad for nearly two years and I’m feeling nervous about all the different things without which we get told to go home again. Our photographer, Paul Shelley will be looking after you very well in the meantime for your next newsletter.

Sue Price

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