Delighted to learn today that the bandstand in North Lodge Park in Darlington is to be restored!
Between July, 2004 and December, 2005 I was writer-in-residence at the park and had fantastic support from The Friends of North Lodge Park who have fought tirelessly for the restoration of the bandstand and indeed for the upkeep of the park. During my residency, as well as producing an anthology of writing by the local residents and schoolchildren I wrote a small pamphlet called ‘Tongues in Trees’ dedicated entirely to the trees felled during the course of my residency. I deliberately priced this pamphlet at £1 in order that I might sell a large number of copies. In the event sales from the pamphlet topped £500 and I donated the money to the Friends of North Lodge Park so that replacement trees could be planted.
One of the sad things was that the delightful bandstand could not be restored during my residency and had to be boarded up for safety reasons. I wrote a poem dedicated to the bandstand and it was set around the bandstand itself attached to the hoardings. Quite a number of poems in the community anthology are dedicated to this much-loved bandstand and I am absolutely thrilled to learn that at long last it is to be restored.
Some of the photographs posted here were taken by the professional photographer David Williams who was the commissioned photographer during the period of my residency