Nightingale Green is a little lost corner of Wanstead with a small parade of shops, small houses, low rise flats and the Nightingale pub. The green had a makeover about ten years ago and was once again in need of some attention. It’s a slightly complicated piece of open space, owned by the Corporation of London but maintained by Redbridge; we had to contact both before we could start.
The date was set, the plants ordered, Redbridge agreed to add manure to the soil and to loosen it up. Sunday 11th April blessed the assembled masses with a glorious spring day, and we had quite a turn out! Families with young kids, newcomers, teenagers, long established residents – all were there amongst the pile of tools, sacks of compost and serried ranks of potted plants waiting to be put in place.
First we had to clear and cut back before we could get to the creative stuff. Everybody found something to do whether it was keeping our flock of watering cans filled, digging holes or painting the lamp posts (yes they too had a makeover!), every plant was given a new home.
At midday the Nightingale pub kindly sent out plates of sandwiches, tea, coffee and other goodies to keep the workforce happy. It really was a cheerful occasion and everybody enjoyed being involved in a very local community project, getting to know each other and taking charge of a piece of their neighbourhood. At the end of the day, feeling very satisfied with our efforts, we retired to the outside tables at the Nightingale to enjoy the last of the afternoon sun and continue the community building.
As a community event, it was second to none. Thanks to Jamie Hodge for initiating and organising the makeover. The expenses were paid by the Wanstead Society with money which originally came from the Friends of Nightingale Green so it’s fitting that those funds have come full circle and back to the Green.