The ‘Friends…’ group was first established in 1995. For a few years we ran regular community events - Spring celebrations, summer fairs ('Patch Picnics’) and winter tree dressing events which marked the seasons with story telling, live music, food and games. At tree planting events local children planted hundreds of daffodils which still return to brighten up the Patch each February-April.
The group became dormant in the late’90s until in early 2005 a small group of local people reformed it following a strong level of interest revealed by a survey of residents run by a local arts group - Spectral Arts. Residents wanted to reverse the parks perceived deterioration and decline particularly around the playground area. So a small group, including former FWCP members, set about rebuilding the `Friends' group,inviting those who had responded to the questionnaire to get involved.The first proper meeting was held in March establishing plans for an Easter & Summer event and a petition calling on the Council to make improvements to the playground. On 21St April 2005 the new group was formally re-established with a constitution, an elected committee (Chair - Duncan Blinkhorn, Secretary - Mark Bolwell, Treasurer - Claire Edwards) and a commitment "to protect & promote William Clarke Park in its role as a green space & wildlife habitat providing a focus for local community life".Specifically we set out to:
- organise events
- provide a voice for park users and forum for discussing park-related issues
- campaign & fundraise for improvements responsive to the views of the local community
- mark the park's heritage as the site of the old Kemp Town branch railway line
- protect & promote the park as a a haven for wildlife