Tuesday 2nd August
Written by Mark Gilyead
This week's group run was to the delightful St John's Meadow which was looking significantly greener and more fruitful than the last time we visited!
After discussing our ideal festival (which quickly moved onto favourite festival weather...), we had a 2km gradual ascent from the Bridge House to St John's, an impressive church in Upper Norwood supported by several huge wooden props. 😬
Luckily we were working in the meadow where Jenny and Helen had begun filling buckets and watering cans for an intense watering session.
💦🍂 Kat and I were delivering some much needed moisture to the compost heaps, helping them rot down further to be spread around the meadow at some point.
💦🌳 Allison and Clare meanwhile were blitzing the fruit and veg beds.
We finished off watering the fruit trees and even took a plum home each!
Nice one gang 👌
Tuesday 26th July
Written by Mark Gilyead
Today’s run was a very special one - Nick’s 50th Good Deed! He’s been smashing the community missions and group runs, leading sessions and will thoroughly deserve his slick new black t-shirt when it pops through his door!
Nick said his favourite tasks so far have been Christmas decorating 🎄 So it’s kind of fitting that today we were looking after some trees!
The recent hot weather has been a nightmare for the local plant-life and The Friends of Cator and Alexandra parks have been working flat-out to get all the saplings and shrubs watered, so it was great to be able to help out.
We met Lou from the Friends group, who together with Ian pulled out water (and even a couple of fish!) from the (depleted…) stream and distributed it into buckets and watering cans for the rest of us to spread around the park. We had several areas to target:
🌱 The new saplings (which we helped to plant!)
🥀 The rose bed
🌳 The orchard
🪴 The shrubs in beds
🌾 The willow arch
We blitzed the whole lot in 30 minutes which was a solid arm workout!
On the way home we did a couple of wallsits under a train archway and had a little celebratory beverage for Nick’s 50th 🎉🍻
Nice work gang!
Bucket’s o’ fun! 💦
Sunday 24th July
Written by Bromley runner
After the extreme heat canned our Group Run this week, I had even more ambition to get out there and burn off those birthday calories 😳 The Friends of Cator Park and Alexandra Rec are hosting their annual Music in the Park event today, and wanted some help in the morning to make sure the grass was clean ready for families to come and sit and enjoy the show. Just the ticket!
I ran 5k from home to the Ground, met Lou and got to work with a litter picker and a bin bag grabbing various small rubbish. Once the green was clear, Lou asked for some help with usual Friends tasks, so we grabbed a hose pipe from the cabin and filled up some buckets to feed the Friends' saplings - much carrying as the hosepipe isn't long! Those poor little trees must have been thirsty after the lack of rain.
It went by so quickly that I forgot to take a photo 😬 Here's a stock one of the entrance to the Ground!
We'll be at Cator Park on Tuesday for our Group Run, and we can hear about how Music in the Park went 🙂
Tuesday 12th July
Written by Mark Gilyead
Seven absolute legends braved a warm evening for a jog up the hill to the St Christopher's Hospice Charity Shop for a multitude of jobs. Shout out to Carina who joined us for her first GG good deed! 📣
We kicked off at the Bridge House chatting about ways to keep cool, from freezing your bed sheets to not moving... and then we ran! After a relaxed warm up in the park, we headed up through the centre, diverted by more festival fences... and made it to the shop to meet Teresa (and Kat who'd just given blood 👏).
To help fund their amazing work, St Christopher's has a bunch of charity shops. It gets pretty busy in the summer with more customers and more donations coming in so we had plenty to do to get the shop ship-shape:
🧽 Catherine and Carina were dusting all the surfaces
🧹 Kat hoovered the floor
💨 Stephen was steaming some clothes
👚 And I did some clothes tagging.
Teresa was sooo happy with what we managed to get done - a weight off her and her colleagues shoulders!
We took a quick snap with some of favourite finds from the shop and took a slightly longer route back, throwing in an occasional plank and jump squat for good measure.
Great stuff gang! ☀️😅
Saturday 9th July
Written by Ian Moore
Hannah, Nykolette and Ian rolled up to the Living Well Foodbank for another session helping this fabulous - and currently quite stretched, more below - team. Our mission for the day was to help the team with one of those periodic jobs, sorting out the "miscellaneous" cupboard, cleaning it and then putting everything back properly. We found some winners medals (well done Nykolette!), a few things went in the bin along the way, but we also stacked eggboxes for maximum space efficiency and also carefully decanted veggie oil and shampoo from mega-5-litre bottles into small jam jars. Why? Because when the Living Well give out single-person allocations, they use egg-boxes to take 2 eggs, and the jam jars for single-person quantities of cooking oil and shampoo.
As I said, the Living Well are quite stretched at the moment as the need for their services is rocketing. This means they are having to buy food in quite large quantities (for example £600 worth of tinned meat last week), to supplement the many donations that come from the local community.
You can help too, if you want to, by donating at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/cost-of-living. All donations (up to £250) are currently being matched by the National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund, so go on, every £10 becomes £20. Please give them a hand and try and get their fundraising up from £20,000 (which they've hit) to £30,000.
Tuesday 5th July
Written by Bromley runner
With Mark enjoying a well deserved holiday, five GoodGymers went for an adventure of our own to a new task at Crystal Palace Museum. The Museum building stands next to a surviving base of one of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's large water towers that fed water to the park, and they'd like to restore it so that it can join the trunk the museum experience. There was a lot of foliage inside that needed clearing, which is where our branch of GoodGym came in.
We set off on a planned ~2km run around the northeast side of the park, but, wood you believe it, the tear down from the Wireless Festival at the weekend was still ongoing, requiring us to loop back down to the bottom and up the south side of the park to get to the museum. Our question of the week was "Have you walked up a hill worse than Anerley Hill?", and Claire told us about her childhood home up a very, very steep hill!
Once we arrived, we got to work moving all from logs to twigs out of the overgrown tower and into the yard, building our production line with Alex and Holly inside the tower moving plant matter out to the entrance tunnel, and myself, Nick and Claire moving it out and down the narrow path. Claire's driving skills with the excess loads on the wheelbarrow were top notch, whilst Nick brought out his inner lumberjack, carrying some seriously heavy looking timber without a sweat!
After a solid 40 minutes of clearing the space out, we said our goodbyes to the Museum, hoping that our work would help them turn another new leaf in the restoration, and took a much more direct route down the Park back to the Bridge House.
Well done, team!