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Friday, 21 September 2012

Welly Road went national today with GQT

Gardeners Question Time link

My question comes near the end for the project but listen from the start as all interesting stuff and actualy inspired m to purchase some Kale for the wellies too as well as Christmas trees.

And for added inspiration a song from Sinatra, enlight of one of the answers from the panel

Woops there goes another Rubber Tree Plant!

We are still using up the money from our second grant to fund this replant tomorrow 10.30 til 2.30 and Birkenhead School have organised a replant of their wellies as part of their open day tomorrow.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Community re-plant

Our wellies are starting to look scruffy so it is time for a clean up and replant to make it look wonderful again and I have arranged for a community re-plant to which you are all invited on Saturday the 22nd of September at the shops on Wellington Road, Oxton, Prenton, Ch43 2JE from 10.30 til 2.30pm

We need all hands on deck - bring a trowel, bring cuttings, bring old wellies for planting. Some plants, some wellies and some trowels will be provided but anymore that you can bring with you will be most helpful. 

Radio Four's wonderful programme Gardeners Question Time (GQT) recorded me asking a question about the wellies on one of the recordings made at Ness Gardens last week. The radio show has a potential audience of 2 million and at the moment, the wellies are not looking good so to save our blushes in between the broadcast on the 21st of September and the 23rd of September, let's make the road look as fab as it did and have some fun while we do it. Light rain will not stop play but heavy rain will....!

  • Any neighbours with wellies that need replanting, please bring them along, and any neighbours with gardens, take a look for any plants that need dividing or any with small plants you want rid of that will fit in the wellies as it will help to stretch our budget a little further.

The Fireman's wellies

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Interesting news for publicity for Welly Road Gets the Boot in!

Your Gardeners Question Time Panel

Alison and Bunny Guiness and the welly
Might be an idea for all those interested in our lovely Wellies to listen to Gardeners Question Time on the 21st of September and repeated again on the 23rd on BBC Radio Four....listen right to the very end!

And then be prepared for a re-plant based on their ideas and any others that come flooding in - feel free to comment!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Welly Road's big day out is over but the wellies are staying put!

many many wellies on the road and with help from neighbours 

we can continue to keep them going

We created a pretty street from over 500 wellies, at least 26 bags of compost, 18 bags of pea gravel, hundreds of bulbs and plants and lots of time offered by volunteers, many thanks to all concerned. 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

The Great Welly Road Gets the Boot in! quiz

The Great Welly Road Gets the Boot in! quiz -(QUIZ IS OVER NOW BUT IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A GO JUST FOR FUN - reply by comment)
Print off and do the quiz cos there are (were) nice prizes!! (won by 4 future gardeners)

How many wellies (count each welly) are there outside:-

The Green Community Shop and Centre in Oxton Village ______________
(on Christchurch Road in Oxton Village)

Talbot Court ______________
(the flats at the end of Wellington Road near Village Road)

SDA ______________
(in the old post office on Wellington Road

Festival Flowers______________
(on Wellington Road)

Hursts Bakery______________
(on Wellington Road)

Streaks Ahead______________
(on Wellington Road)

Wellington Road Studios______________
(set back from Wellington Road- behind the shops)
And what else is planted that is a bit unusual______________

The Coffee Shop______________
(on Wellington Road)

Simply Food and Drinks______________
(on Wellington Road)

The Hair Lounge_____________
(on Wellington Road)

Birkenhead School Lodge______________
(on Beresford Road)


How many wellies can you see outside the neighbours houses on Wellington Road (between Village Road and Beresford Road)? ______________
Have you seen more wellies anywhere else – some people planted wellies from nearby streets too (hint: Silverdale Road)?
Have you spotted something more suitable for getting into a pool than getting into puddles?
And where are they? ___________________________________________________________________

Which stand is your favourite? ____________________________________________________________________

Friday, 11 May 2012

Our poet laureate for the street

“A near-run thing,” he said
Wellington, surveying the field of Waterloo

In everything we do
We fly or fall together, peace as war..
The mystery of what it’s for
Is less than the conviction
That it’s possible :

Wait : don’t close the gate just yet,

Not even when the world hangs wet
With disbelief.

Put on your boots
And Water the ground :
Look around : it’s Spring,
And a living place is possible :

Even if, like love and war, “a near-run thing” ..

                    for Alison, - and Wellington Road

                        spring 2012
                        Mark Ball
                        Beresford Road

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Birkenhead School's stand

The stand at The Lodge of Birkenhead School

"Welly Road gets the Boot in!" is part of the Secret Gardens of Oxton, with all the stands on show and all the neighbours wellies out in all their glory. To visit the street is free but we are part of a greater event and we encourage you to get a ticket and visit the other gardens.

Sunday 13th May 2012 10.00am to 5.00pm .

Bring your family and friends to visit 30 hidden gardens in the historic conservation area of Oxton. Walking round this pleasant village you will come across a wonderful array of plants and flowers and be inspired by a variety of creative garden designs.

This annual event is enjoyed by newcomers and regular visitors who return every year. In addition to the gardens, musical entertainments and art shows will be taking place in the village centre. For children there are Punch and Judy shows and pony rides. Village shops, plant and craft stalls, cafes and pubs will all be open on the day.

Selected charities play an active role by helping the organisers to run the event. All proceeds are shared by the charities.

There is a Park & Ride located on the corner of Woodchurch Road and Storeton Road (post code for Sat Nav CH43 5TW)

For tickets visit or ring 07963 248 268 for more details.
Buy tickets in advance and save money.

Road Directions

Exit the M53 at Jct.3 and take the A552 Woodchurch Road towards Birkenhead, then follow the signs for Oxton.

Many thanks to Richard Cross of Rostherne Nursery

Neighbours start getting their wellies

Thursday, 26 April 2012

LAST PUSH FOR 100 PAIRS of Wellies

All sizes, all conditions, single ones, split ones
Drop off at the Green Community Shop and Centre in Oxton Village or any of the businesses on Wellington Road (CH43 2JE)

ANd ask friends, schools, churches, lost property....

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Relevant article from the RSA which is very relevant to our project

Posted: 12 Apr 2012 08:41 AM PDT
In the last year the headlines highlighted large-scale, sometimes violent, rejections of the status quo.  Tessy Britton FRSA argues it was also a year in which citizen-led creative and collaborative local projects came into their own.
As regular citizens, we have a number of well-established routes to participating in society. We participate through being consumers, supporting the economy, circulating money while trying to provide valuable livelihoods for ourselves and others. We participate through generosity, giving what we can spare and volunteering to help others, both at home and abroad.
Many of us choose to get involved in social governance. We may take on formal roles and responsibilities, become school governors, stand as a local councillor, act on committees and community forums. And, of course, we can vote. Less formally, we may also get involved in public consultations and – when we feel our concerns have not been are sufficiently listened to – we can challenge decisions more directly through campaigning and protesting. So, with so many opportunities to participate, why are we seeing people engaging in their communities in new, more collaborative ways, and what can we learn from this?
An example of these new creative behaviours might broadly be described in this simple scenario: a person has an idea of how their street or community might look or feel different. They might think that a few benches in their street would create new opportunities for neighbours to get to know one another better through informal contact. Historically, they could take their idea to the local authority or their ward councillor, where it would be supported or not.
But if that person knocked on their neighbours’ doors, described their idea and managed to collect some donations and, together, they bought a bench or two – or even designed and made their own, then this would be a significantly different approach. They would not be acting out of charity, or representing anyone, or campaigning. They had a creative, socially informed idea and, working collaboratively with neighbours, they made it happen.
This same pattern is emerging around the world, from community fruit collections and skills sessions, to resource sharing and many projects relating to food, growing, cooking, making and learning. What we are seeing is not nostalgic and is culturally structurally very different from what we have witnessed before.
Knowledge about systems, the social connection needs of people, the ideas and methods of making these social projects work, is slowly becoming more widespread, making these innovative projects more sophisticated in their design. Some professionals are deploying their expertise in their own communities voluntarily. There is a much deeper and wider appreciation of the idea of waste; whether of people’s talents, ideas and energies, or physical resources. Collectively, these strands of thinking represent opportunities to act in clever and successful ways that have the potential to transform how we live day-to-day.
People are rediscovering the pleasures and benefits of common activity: neither as passive consumers, nor as needy recipients of charity, but as active makers and designers of the social, economic and physical infrastructure of where they live. There is a new sense of agency emerging, of optimism and of control, and it is revealing itself through positive activity on a human scale.
For some years, I have been working on a project called Social Spaces, concentrating on understanding these phenomena as they have emerged. We now have 45 collaborative books in production –The Community Lover’s Guide to the Universe –collecting stories about these new types of local projects from around the world, projects often characterized by their powerful ability to gently bridge widespread social divides. Last month in Rotterdam, I spent the morning in the Living Room, a beautiful space that is funded by members of the community, each paying three euros a month, and managed by volunteers. In Israel, the practice of communities renting a shared house for community activities is becoming commonplace in some areas.
Over the past 15 months, Social Spaces has worked in around 80 communities, asking over 2,000 people what they would like to see more of in the places where they live. We have worked in all types of communities, including less privileged places, and the answers are the same everywhere. Not a single person has asked for more restaurants, clothing or jewellery shops. Instead, people in the UK said they want to live in communities where the divisions between age, culture, wealth (and lack of it) are bridged. They told us that they want to live in beautiful places and, very importantly, that they want new types of common space, places that can help to build more sociable communities. They want to create a sense of community, to pool their ideas, talents and to build on their innate resourcefulness and resilience through simple activities.
They believe that these activities, added together, can start to make significant steps towards transforming their communities. Research confirms this. What has emerged from this work is an amazing collective vision: a homemade vision that is not being imposed by social theorists, the media or Hollywood.
So what impact could this new type of creative and collaborative participation have on the body politic? It is often happening without the need for state funding or permission and has the potential to seriously disrupt many of our existing systems. If local people can connect with one another easily, improve their neighbourhoods through collective activity and deploy sophisticated and strategic thinking – improving health and wellbeing, reducing employment and crime, for example – without so much as a nod towards politicians, what happens to political power and vested interest?
In some respects, these patterns of activity chime with the stated ambitions of today’s politicians: citizens getting more involved, relieving the state of financial burdens, generating positive, networked effects that no linear, direct government intervention could ever hope to achieve. Yet, despite this, it may turn out that a significant shift in politicians’ behaviours is needed, if they want to stay relevant.
Take one example involving a small but impressive group of people in Cornwall. They have successfully negotiated with an energy company to create a large community fund. This would make it possible to become collectively self-sufficient in generating green energy. The fund will be managed by the community, for the community. Not a single line of responsibility or credit for the project originally passed through the existing local democratic system.
If you are a local councillor, you might fall in love with all this place-shaping and making; you have vegetables popping up all over the place, more people riding bicycles, perhaps even more people smiling. New projects are blossoming, there are new children’s nurseries co-managed by parents, young people are involved in creating and managing intergenerational spaces and people are sharing their stuff. As a result of all this sociability and industrious activity, crime is going down, unemployment is going down, the local economy is improving, without you, the councillor, making a budget decision or lifting a finger. So how exactly do you get re-elected, if there is no direct route of attribution between you and this transformation?
The penny finally drops for this councillor. While there will always remain a need for all types of participation she or he is going to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in more energetically than before, because they realise that it is the only way to remain relevant. Before you know it, they are digging up vegetables and painting walls, removing administrative barriers to community progress, and connecting people, ideas, expertise and resources both in the community and in the council, helping to create more collaborative cultures, as though their life depended on it.
So, next time someone asks you to plant carrots, build a bench, transform an empty space, or bake a pie, share a skill, anything in fact that creates relationships and builds trust, don’t think of it as trivial. It could turn out to be the most politically radical thing you could do.

Tessy Britton is Director of Social Spaces and previous Chair of the RSA Fellowship Council. Social Spaces is a project working to develop new knowledge about innovative community-led projects and has been collaborating with Zero Zero to develop The Civic Crowd, a civic project mapping platform. 

I hope the RSA will not object to me reproducing this, here is the link to their website

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Wonderful day for the neighbourhood!

Local neighourhood kids and cubs with Alison Bailey Smith, Mathew Patrick and Frank Field MP for Birkenhead

Paul Doughty of SDA survey and design and young neighbour who helped plant, water and nail all the wellies down