News of a successful £4m lottery funded project for The Canons and its grounds should be a game changer for Cricket Green.
If the full funding can be secured then it will see major new investment to open up the house, restore the historic running track, improve wildlife habitats and support an array of community-led projects to involve more people and tell the story of this special part of Mitcham. We have already teamed up with Friends of the Canons and the Mitcham Society to draft much of the original bid and are gearing up now to bring it to life.
Success cannot be taken for granted. There are some worrying aspects to the project. Plans for a new paved track cutting across the open space in front of Park Place from the playground to Cold Blows will blight this much loved open space. It will also sterilise much of the historic Mitcham Athletic Club grounds from being used for sport and informal recreation. Such short sightedness must not be allowed.
The project will also test the mettle of Merton councillors and officers. The Council will have to step back and support the local community to take the lead from behind the scenes.
With the right support we could see a flowering of community initiatives as a wider range of people are inspired to get more involved by the exciting prospect of what is now in store. Do get in touch if you want to be part of it – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The ultimate test of this one off investment will be the legacy it leaves. This will be measured as much by the involvement of local people in caring for Cricket Green’s future as by the physical changes to The Canons and its grounds or the number of new visitors to the area. We are rolling up our sleeves for the excitement to come.
Thanks to everyone who joined us on 21 June for our Civic Day walk.
We marked Civic Day this year with a visit to the Cricket Pavilion and a walk around the greens and open spaces of Cricket Green, giving local people a chance to talk about and make input to two Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) bids being prepared by Merton Council:
- Parks for People. This bid will focus on Canons house and grounds, and will be aimed at encouraging more people to use the area, finding a use for Canons house and understanding what makes the area special.
- Townscape Heritage. This bid will focus on Cricket Green, London Road and Church Road. It is based around key buildings such as the Cricket Pavilion and Burn Bullock, and the ‘streetscape’.
If successful these bids could bring millions of pounds into the area.
We are working closely with the project manager, who is employed by Merton Council, as well as with the Mitcham Society, Friends of the Canons and Mitcham Cricket Club, to help these bids be a success.
There is still time to have your say on the bids – but be quick – the consultation period has technically come to an end. Squeeze your response in by filling in the response form at the bid web site http://www.canonspartnership.org.uk
To celebrate Civic Day (22 June 2013), Mitcham Cricket Green Community and Heritage organised a walk around the boundary of the Cricket Green Conservation Area.
Even a walk around the edge of the Conservation Area allowed us to look at a large number of fascinating things. For example in our 5 kilometer (3 mile) walk we saw:
- Mitcham Garden Village. Built in the 1930s to house older people of Mitcham (locally listed)
- The Wilson Hospital. Built 1928 and with a fabulous facade – and still functioning as a health centre with a GP surgery on site (locally listed)
- The Parish Church. Built in the early 19th Century and replacing an earlier 13th Century church. (Grade II* listed)
- The Vestry Hall. An imposing Victorian building on the site of the Mitcham stocks and lock-up. Once the centre of government for Mitcham. When Mitcham became part of Merton the headquarters moved to Wimbledon for a short time, then to its current location in Morden (locally listed)
- The Wandle Industrial Museum. A fascinating local museum that’s just celebrated its 30th year of operation.
- Milestone. Marking out the distances to local landmarks, and now sadly largely illegible, this is being restored by Mitcham Cricket Green Community and Heritage as one of our Heritage Lottery Funded projects (Grade II listed)
- Cricket Green. We glimpsed a view of the Cricket Green – the place where cricket has been played longer than any other – more than 300 years!
- Cold Blows. An ancient trackway whose name gives a clear indication of how it can feel on chilly, windy days.
- Three Kings Pond and Three Kings Piece. This green is the site of the Mitcham Status Fair – a very historic fair indeed.
Lunch after the walk involved its own element of history as it took place in the Toby Carvery that looks over the News of the World sports ground. The Carvery occupies what was once one of the three Great Houses of Mitcham – the 18th Century Park Place.
In the photo below the happy walkers stand outside a World War II bomb shelter in Mitcham Garden Village.
We have secured £20,000 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for an exciting initiative to raise public awareness and understanding of the historic significance of Mitcham’s Cricket Green through activities which promote the area and encourage local involvement.
Know Your Cricket Green comprises a range of projects. The first projects will take place in Spring 2013 and include cleaning and conservation of the cricket memorial stone and the listed horse trough and milestone. The horse trough will also be relocated to a safer position. This conservation work will be recorded by Mitcham Camera Club. We will produce an audio trail to guide people around the heart of the area and record oral histories based on interviews with local people.
Later in 2013 we will be organising a photographic exhibition of sporting history and introducing a geocache trail through which people will explore the area. We will also provide a Hall of Fame on our website with information and photographs of famous Mitcham residents. There will be activity to raise the profile of Mitcham Cricket Green Community and Heritage in what is our tenth anniversary year; including a membership leaflet, stand at the Mitcham Carnival, display for London Open House, improved website, events, and design of a logo.
We will be working with a wide range of partners, including Mitcham Cricket Club, Mitcham Camera Club, Mitcham Society, Friends of the Canons and the London Borough of Merton. There will be a wide variety of different ways for people to get involved and special training provided for those who want to get involved in the oral histories, audio trail and exhibitions. If you want to know more or get involved then contact us at email@example.com