A stall in the Park

I just wanted to say hi to all the Park visitors today who stopped in at ouCefn Onn  stall - April 2013 (web)r stall and display in the entrance to find out what we are up to, brought along old photos of the Park, and have tea and cake with us. Thank you all very much for your words of support and ideas for the proposed artist mural for the wall in the underpass. Welcome also to everyone who decided to become a member either today or in the week ahead. We only get the improvements to the Park that we have done and are still hoping for by both the efforts of the members and, equally importantly, the mere weight of membership the Group represents.

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2 Responses to A stall in the Park

  1. Alison Duff says:

    The time to discuss the mural was before the artist was commissioned. The key words of the brief for Cefn Onn were Conservation and Restoration – I have struggled to see where a mural fits. It has not been openly
    communicated and in future your intentions should be posted in the park for all to see and comment. A suggestion which was warmly received by the Parks Department.

    The tunnel is what it is – a walk through to access the park – no-one goes to the park to linger in the tunnel and the real eyesore is not the textured wall (which a coat of whitewash would have thoroughly improved) it is the network rail fence which is in an appalling state and provides a clear view of all the rubbish and debris beyond. I have walked there regularly over the last 30 years and over the last week I have asked everyone I have met if they know about the mural or indeed been asked for their opinion. I have spoken with 18 people and not one has been told or indeed asked for their opinion. Furthermore they were horrified to hear that it was being paid for when so many other things are required in the park. The toilets are a disgrace, the drive needs double yellow lines on either side as on nice days when there is insufficient parking people abandon their cars on the drive and make it impossible for others to get in or out. None of this is rocket science and if all the committee members were regular visitors to the park their decision-making might be more informed. The park has almost 100 years of history, the bones of which remain and all it really needs is some TLC;
    21st century glitzing up will not enhance its natural beauty. Treat it as you would your own garden and send
    that message to those who use it – invite them to spend time in the park enjoying the natural beauty and all you ask as a hardworking friends group is for them to treat it as they would their own surroundings i.e. clear up after their dogs and discourage children from destroying plants etc. There is a way of gathering support and making uninformed decisions is not one of them; just be open and honest about your plans. You have been entrusted with a privileged task. Let your legacy be one of restoring the park not adding the unnecessary and destroying its integrity.

    • gareth says:

      Dear Alison

      Thank you for your comments that we received when we met in the Park during our open day in early April as well as through our website. These have been and will continue to be taken into account in the decisions taken within the Friends Group and with Cardiff Council.

      Additional information on the mural part of the Entrance Project is displayed on the Park notice board and hopefully this answers a number of your questions below in relation to why the Friends Group thought the underpass needs improvement, the extensive consultations we have undertaken, why we cannot obtain or spend grant money on much of the rest of the Park at the moment due to the plant disease, how part of the project is indeed pushing (and funding if necessary) Network Rail to replace the horrible fencing, and upgrading the toilets/ office building. There are also many other aspects of the Entrance Project that are described on the Park noticeboard. We are not allowed to spend the money we have received on other parts of the Park and the mural itself is only a small component of the funding.

      For your information, the artist has just completed his consultations and proposed a concept for the design. This will be on display on the Park noticeboard and additional comments can be made via our website. We carefully chose this particular artist by the way because, amongst other things, he has done a lot of work in many different environments across South Wales, including various parks in Cardiff for the Council. Furthermore, he is experienced in working within the community to gather concepts and ideas and has the expertise to cope with the uneven wall surface we have.

      I also promise you that all of the committee members are regular visitors to the Park and care about it deeply. This is why we have put so much of our personal time and effort into it in the last 3 years and why most Park users tell us that it has improved in that period ‘almost beyond recognition’. It is therefore very disappointing that in one of your comments you question our ‘friendship’ of what we wholeheartedly agree is a beautiful park.


      Gareth Thomas
      Chairman, Friends of Parc Cefn Onn

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