Community Open Day 2011

The Old Willow Works Community Open Day 10th September 2011

The Community Open Day was planned to give everyone the opportunity to visit the recently completed Willow Works and to meet the groups that have been involved in helping with the funding and those that will be using the building for future projects.
Groundwork was responsible for organising and hosting the day. Groundwork staff were justifiably proud of their achievement in completing the final stage of the Willow Works renovation project. Aided by the Willow Works Community Group the day was packed with entertainment and refreshments for all the family including a bouncy castle and free barbeque.
Groundwork Creswell, Ashfield and Mansfield and Crestra Ltd (an Environmental Regeneration Charity) had representatives to answer questions about their role in the completion of Phase 2 of the Willow Works. Groundwork took over the final completion of the Willow Works in return for ownership of the building and will be responsible for managing it in the foreseeable future. Representatives were there to promote the use of the building for meetings, conferences and events.

TVLP - Trent Vale Landscape Partnership (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund) also had a display of projects it had been involved in. These include renovation work along the area of the Trent between Newark and Stockwith . TVLP has played a major part in sourcing funds to complete the Willow Works after the Environment Agency was unable to proceed because of Government spending cuts in 2010.
Environment Agency/RSPB stand
Another major player attraction within the community is the Beckingham Marshes project by the RSPB and The Environment Agency. Representatives attended to answer any questions visitors may have regarding their progress to date and to give information on the wildlife it plans to attract.
Of course our very own Beckingham Cum Saundby History Group was involved on the day, with a display of photographs and information covering the topics of the Willow Works which included details on the Aldous and Gale families who ran their successful willow products business. A section was also dedicated to the Shipyard and windmill. The group now has its own room with space to keep their ever growing collection of artefacts and files etc.
BumbleV Splits

In addition to the main groups that are involved in the Willow Works Carole Beavis of Wildworks displayed a number of creations from its workshops which are offered to schools, youth groups and community groups. Wildworks also provides art workshops, outdoor learning and materials for its classes. On the open day Carole invited people to try their hand at willow sculptures.

More refreshments were kindly provided by The Friendship Group and ice creams were on sale by BumbleVee which is based in Beckingham. Within the landscaped area around the Willow Works were picnic tables to enable people to enjoy the good weather (albeit slightly breezy). The day was very successful and attracted over 350 visitors.

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