Open Garden Event 2017

This year’s Open Garden Event was a huge success. Eight local residents within widcombewest kindly allowed us to see how small town gardens can be made attractive, colourful and a pleasure to be in.

Many thanks to you all for kindly inviting widcombewest supporters and local residents to view your gardens, take some refreshment and have a thoroughly enjoyable evening in such lovely weather. Your participation is much appreciated by all the visitors, who numbered over 40 this year. If the trend continues we shall need larger gardens next time!

Special thanks to Ruth for hosting everyone at the end of the tour and into the late evening, despite her crack of dawn start the next day.


Cycle Shelter Build

Cycle Shelter Build – Day 1

Many thanks to everyone who turned out for Day 1 in March to help kick start the cycle shelter project. We had a really successful weekend of clearing and making the site ready for a secure community bike store at St Marks Community Centre. Day 2 of the bike store build is this weekend 8/9th April. The main build will be on Saturday with Sunday currently penciled in should we overrun.

We need willing volunteers that can help for a couple of hours, especially any with electric screwdrivers. There will be some lifting, possibly more ground clearing and the decking to construct so there’s plenty of work for all abilities! We are also planning a BBQ, refreshments for all and guaranteed sunshine!

Look forward to seeing you all on the day – we will be starting around 10:00 am.

Christmas Wine Tasting

winetasteFollowing the huge success of previous years we’ve organised another specially commissioned Christmas Wine Tasting at the Chandos Deli in George Street, starting at 7.30p.m on Thursday 8 December.

A dozen or more premium wines to taste under expert guidance, all of which are brand new to the Chandos tastings. PLUS:  delicious snacks to accompany each wine prepared by the Chandos team which they promise will be at least as good as anything we’ve had before!

And if that’s not enough to entice you there’s a 20% discount off bottles of wines purchased on the night!

These evenings are a really informal and fun way of communing and we’d stress that you definitely do NOT need to be a wine buff to have a great time!

Capacity is limited and in previous years the event has been heavily over-subscribed. So please email Keith Palmer as soon as possible if you’d like tickets which are £25 per person.

143 Calton Road Update

Here is an update on the planning application made in September last year for erection of four flats following demolition of existing two one bedroom flats at 143 Calton Road.

The applicant is currently putting together revised proposals following withdrawal of the previous application in the light of overwhelming objections from local residents. Those immediately affected were recently invited to view new outline proposals which had lowered the scheme by a storey height.

Despite this the residents felt that the draft proposals did not yet do enough to respond to their concerns, particularly of an overbearing development with consequential loss of daylight for the homes below on St Mark’s Road. We await the results of this initial consultation and are hoping that we will see revised proposals prior to any new submission for planning consent which respond to these concerns as well as to the other objections raised against the original application. Watch this space…”

Details of the original application can be viewed here.

Community Centre Update

centre2The Trustees of St Marks Community Centre have now been in place for eighteen months; in this time, they have addressed some key issues, such as formalising required policy documents, undertaking a quinquennial fabric survey and publishing Terms and Conditions of Hire. The trustees have also been considering the future of the centre, seeking to ensure its long term sustainability, identifying opportunities for increasing usage, whilst aiming to enhance the environment for existing loyal user groups.

Two open days are planned at the Centre; the first, on Sunday 13th November from 4pm – 6pm will be a low-key event, where any locals or interested users can drop in to the centre and talk to some of the trustees, have a cup of tea, share any concerns as well as look at potential opportunities; the second, scheduled for May 2017 is expected to be a more lively affair, with presentations from the trustees and input from the long-term users to illustrate some of the challenges facing the centre in an age of decreasing community involvement.  Date and time for this will be confirmed in due course.

Click here for more information on the St Mark’s Community Centre.

Community Bookshelf

bookshelfA new community bookshelf has been provided within the outer lobby of St Marks Community Centre.
Please drop in any time the outer door is open to borrow, buy, exchange books or add to the bookshelf as you wish. All types of books within reason for all ages.

All that we ask is that you consider making a small donation to the continuing maintenance of the Community Centre. There is a donations box next to the bookshelf.

The trustees hope this facility will be welcomed as a small step forward in making our Community Centre work better for local residents in addition to its current user groups.

Please send any additional ideas for other community use of the lobby space to Alex at

Community Barbecue 2016

bbq2015The widcombewest community barbecue was held on Saturday 9th of June. Once again it was a great success with over 50 people of all ages enjoying a lovely warm evening in the gardens of St Marks Community Centre. Several newcomers were warmly welcomed. We also held a raffle which the proceeds of which will go towards funding more of our events.

Many thanks to those of you who donated prizes and those who supplied barbecues, your contributions were much appreciated.

Sun shines on second widcombewest Open Gardens evening

We could not have been luckier with the weather at our second widcombewest Open Gardens evening on Thursday May 12th. Four local residents had offered to open up their gardens for the evening.

Chewing the fat in Ruth's garden in Calton Walk

Chewing the fat in Ruth’s garden in Calton Walk

The evening wasn’t about winning awards or showing off prize dahlias, but really to provide new ideas about just what works and what can be done in our small urban outdoor spaces. There’s plenty that can be achieved to encourage wildlife and pollinators by giving some thought to bee-friendly planting.


Brian and Andrew's bijou garden in Calton Walk

Brian and Andrew’s bijou garden in Calton Walk


Upwards of 35 visitors came out to enjoy an evening stroll around the locality, glass of Prosecco in hand, chat to neighbours about all things horticultural and put the world to rights generally. The last few hard core visitors lingered on in one of the gardens well after dark to continue the conversation by candlelight.



Community celeidh 2016 goes with a swing

A great evening was had by all on April 23rd as dancers lined up to strip the willow and thread the needle at the St. Mark’s Community Centre Celeidh. The Student Volunteering V Team organised the event as in previous years, and came up trumps with a great band and caller, a pay bar and raffle. It was wonderful to see the mix of age groups lining up to join in the fun.