After nearly a fortnight of rain and grey skies - the day arrived for the official opening of Winnersh Meadows and with it a change in the weather. Ground conditions were good and the sun was trying very hard to show its face.
The day started at 8.30am when the Community Wardens arrived together with the portable loos and the PA system. All followed by a steady stream of vehicles carrying various piece of equipement to make the day an enjoyable one.
We had several minor set backs as the curb leading into the site was very high and some vehicles had trouble overcoming it. One of the casualties was Daisy the Vintage Ice Cream Van, the floor of the van was very low and without proper ramps it was a no go. PCSO Nellie Williams and Councillor Prue Bray tried everything to try and help Daisy gain access, even asking neighbours in Blue Bell Meadows for permission to park on their drives. In the end Daisy had to give up as health and safety had to come first.
By 10.30am all the equipment was up and ready and waiting for people to arrive. The Scouts started up their BBQ ready in anticipation for what proved to be a very big BBQ. They cooked 120 sausage and 170 burgers. and had to go to Sainsbury's twice for fresh supplies. They all had great fun and enjoyed the day.
Time was fast approaching 12.30pm when Zac Purchase, Lady Mayor Diane King and her consort Brian King arrived. Roberta Tweedy - Committee Member of the Winnersh NAG - was ready and waiting to greet our guests and escort our visitors to the site and to the official 'cutting of the ribbon'.
The Doggy competition was a great success - 9 categories with first, second and third prizes to be won. First prize winners received a small silver cup and a voucher for £5 for Pets at Home, second prize winners received a large meaty bone and third prize winners received a meaty chew. Mandy Dorman - Wokingham Borough Council's Dog Warden took on the job of judging, help by James Leask - Parish Councilor. Mandy said 'all the dogs were lovely and she wished she could have taken them all home' .
There was an added attraction for the under 12s - a Chicken Peg and egg hunt. Children could collect up to 5 coloured balls hidden in the long grass and exchange them for chocolate eggs. With the chicken pegs they could exchange them for eggs or different sweets.
The bouncy castle and the wrecking ball also proved to be a great hit.
Face painting was also a big hit. And the Graffiti workshop also pulled in young and old to try their hand.
Wokingham Borough's Sports and Leisure brought in the Climbing Wall, Archery, Penalty Shoot out and the Rowing Machines. Unfortunately the Zumba dancing had to be cancelled due to the instructor being ill.
Feedback so far is that everyone had a good time. If you would like to make a constructive comment about the event, then please do so as feedback is valuable to us.
I would like to take this opportunity of thanking Fencing Products Winnersh for donating all the wooden stakes for us to use as sign posts and making the doggy arena.
Pat Rowell - chairman of the Winnersh NAG - Your Neighbourhood Action Group.