Archive for October, 2013

St Marks Churchyard tidy up October 2013

12 Oct

A lot of effort goes into organising volunteer events but the weather can easily scupper the best plans. Earlier in the week the weather prospects didn’t look too good and on Friday it was pumping down with rain. Fortunately, the rain held off and some 30 volunteers including children turned out to help tidy up the churchyard. Compared with previous events, volunteers were taking on much more difficult tasks. Here is what we achieved:

* The largest pot holes were repaired;
* Repair of play ground railings underway (being paid for Lambeth Parks);
* Grass repairs continuing;
* Stonework cleaning commenced (this is a massive job);
* Area behind gravestones cleared

When ever you put on events like this there are always a few things that go wrong. This time it was the skip being put in the wrong place. As it was already partially filled, it proved very difficult to move. We waited for a few people to arrive and then made a concerted effort to move the skip. it is surprising what you can do with enough people. Here are a few pictures from the day


St Marks Churchyard playround railing day 2

11 Oct

It may not look like much progress from the previous day but it takes three people to move one of those base stones. As of yesterday, all of the base stones are back in place. Some of the railings were removed and stored away safely overnight. The remaining section had a temporary support fixed to make it safe. Notice the loose leading. The bottom of each railing has to be leaded into the base stone. This helps prevent corrosion and keeps the railing secure but makes it difficult for them to be taken out when they are being repaired.


St Marks Churchyard playground railing repair day 1

09 Oct

After years of waiting, the St Marks Churchyard playground railings are finally getting repaired. The work is expected to take a few days so I thought it worth documenting the repair for posterity.  Back in June 2012  I wrote this article about the damaged playground railings.  A year on from that nothing had been done so I went out and found a contractor and got a quote. The Oval Partnership offered to pay for the repair but in the end the Oval Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme officer arranged for the order to be placed and Lambeth Parks will be paying.  In spite of the delay, we must not lose sight of the fact that the damage was caused by a driver.  It is a pity that whoever was responsible cannot be found and made to pay for this.

I originally hoped that the work could be tackled with volunteers because it looked like the walls/railings could simply be pushed back into place.  Common sense prevailed though.  Some jobs are best left to professionals.

Railing repair day 1:

The railings and heads have to be removed before anything can be done. As suspected,  as soon the railings were touched,  one of the base stones fell over and had to be put back upright -easier said than done with stones of this size. In the original collision, one of the top rails was damaged leaving a single bolt precariously holding the frame together.  The close up of the finial shows the the G-clamp easing the pressure on the bolt.


St Marks Churchyard tidy up 2013: Things to do

08 Oct

On Saturday 12th October, we are looking for volunteers to help tidy up St Marks churchyard between 9:00 and 12:30. We are hoping to:

* Repair ground damage (ground needs aerating and grass seeds sowed in various places)
* Put down compost in sunken areas
* Clear behind gravestones (there are lots of rubbish and saplings growing there)
* Clean stonework – entrance to St Marks Chambers and other side entrance/crypt
* Repair pot holes in drive way
* Tidy up rose bed
* Tidy up around the boundary wall/fence – remove any saplings/rubbish etc.

It’s not all about work though. We just want to get together as a community, hopefully make some new friends and generally enjoy ourselves. At 12:30 we will be launching a new friends group so if you want to call yourself a founder member of that group, do try and come along. Below are a few pictures of the things we are trying to tackle. The broken playground railings, are due to be fixed this week.


Saturday 12 October – St Marks Churchyard makeover – Launch of new friends group – 300th Oval Farmers’ Market

01 Oct

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS on Saturday 12 October:

* 9:00 to 12:30 tidying up of the churchyard – planting grass seeds – repairing pot holes – stone cleaning
* 12:30 Launch of a new friends group (We need people to join management committee)
* 13:00 Lunch and finish

As if that wasn’t enough, the Oval Farmers Market will be celebrating its’ 300th market. There will be more stalls than normal and activities for children so please tell your friends and neighbours.
WE WANT AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE TO COME AND JOIN US. Last year the local community turned out in force and we had a magnificent 60 volunteers over two days. We only need an hour or so of your time. The more people that turn up, the more we can get done. Come and help us even if you can’t do any heavy work. Here is a link to some photos taken at last year’s event some of which are shown below.