Thursday, 11 May 2017

The Big Lunch 2017!

Hello! On the 18th of June 2017 we'll be hosting another Big Lunch in St James Park, a Great Get Together for everyone in the St James community.

There'll be tons to do on the day (more info soon, but expect Dr Bike, fitness taster sessions, craft activities for kids and much more) as well as hopefully kicking back in the sunshine, enjoying your picnic with your friends, old and new.

But we'd really love your help to make sure that this year's bash is a big success!

Can you....

  • Be the point of contact for your street, making sure all your neighbours know that the event is happening and everyone is welcome
  • help with setting up on the day, which means putting up bunting and gazebos
  • be part of the tear down and clean up, putting all the equipment away afterwards
  • volunteer as a steward for an hour or two
  • help spread the word with posters, leafleting and putting a poster up in your window
If you're happy to be involved in any way, please email and we'll get the ball rolling!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

The next meeting of the Friends of St James Park will be taking place on 

Wednesday 19th October 2016 at 7:30pm

Please email us at to RSVP.

We welcome anyone who'd like to contribute to the group, either as part of the committee or the wider group, helping at events etc. 

In the past we've done bulb planting, a Big Lunch community event, and run 'Forest School' nature trail style events in Low Hall Nature Reserve which is behind the park and allotments, towards Low Hall Sports Ground.  We've also kept the council informed about issues such as repairs needed to playground equipment, and damage to trees.

Suggestions for future events have included:

- keep fit classes such as Our Parks
- cycling training
- bulb planting
- events in conjunction with the local Friends of the Earth group
- liaise with St James Big Local and local businesses about funding opportunities 
- working with the Mill to deliver events like a light parade
- a Christmas Fair
- a Summer Fair
- another Big Lunch picnic
- fundraising for permanent equipment as in Lloyd Park and Leyton Jubilee Park
- fundraising for a cafe/toilets on site (although both of these last two would be very big projects!)

We get regular updates from the council on funding opportunities and initiatives - for example at the moment there are trees available which could be planted, subject to agreeing a suitable site with the council. If there's a particular event that really interests you, it could work well to set up a mini 'working group' as part of the wider Friends Of group to make it happen. 

We are really in need of...

1. people to come forward to join the committee, as most of the original committee members have moved away from the area. The roles of chair, treasurer, secretary and comms need be filled in order to keep the group constituted and eligible for council assistance and funding, and the roles can be shared as we've successfully done that in the past. Unfortunately, unless we can get the committee roles filled, the group will be wound down by the end of 2016.

2. Expertise in communications, fundraising, events, writing risk assessments, and generally being cheerful and helpful at events is always welcome! This can be in conjunction with a committee role, or ad hoc.

3. Volunteers to undertake vital training courses which enable us to put on events, such as First Aid, Food Safety etc via the free courses run by the council, and then attend events.

We hope to see you next week, we really hope that we're going to be able to keep FOSJP alive and kicking!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Exploring Low Hall Nature Reserve with FOSJP

If you went down to the woods yesterday, you were sure of a surprise indeed: Little Red Ted and his furry friends visited Low Hall Nature Reserve, and lots of FOSJP's youngest members came along to meet them!

We've been hoping to bring you some events for children and carers which celebrate nature and also introduce other local people to our lovely park - Waltham Forest has some of the best green spaces in London but we all know it's easy to just head for wherever is closest...

The wonderful Rachel Summers agreed to guide two sessions for us in the nature reserve, which is between the park and Low Hall Sports Grounds.

Despite only having a couple of days to publicise the sessions, we could have welcomed twice as many children if we'd had the time - good to know that there is lots of local interest in nature events.

Together we searched for Little Red Ted, used our "explorer feet" to clamber over logs along the paths, and concocted 'delicious' magical mud potions and compost cakes, including one very large one to be left as dinner for the Gruffalo, after the children decided he must live close by.

Our adventurers carefully decanted tiny creatures into bugpots for examination, and liberated them lovingly afterwards. Swinging about in the hammock, creating a 'house' complete with found log seats, singing Rachel's new song about Low Hall - it was a brilliant morning in the scorching sunshine.

We hope those of you who came along enjoyed it - what was your favourite part?

If you were interested and emailed but couldn't get a place, we'll be sure to let you know when we do similar events again in the future. To hear more about what FOSJP is up to, get on our mailing list by emailing us at

Sunday, 6 March 2016

FOSJP events in 2016

We've been having lots of people ask what's happening with FOSJP - and we're really keen to get things back up and running again!

We're about to set a date for our AGM and we're looking for new active committee members, as well as people who are just keen to be involved in the group as and when they can.

If you're a park user or live locally, and want to contribute in any way, email us at fosjp at yahoo dot co dot uk as we'd love to hear from you! We need a strong committee as well as lots of volunteers to deliver events so any help is welcome.

Suggestions for events and activities in the park so far include:

- exercise classes
- another "Big Lunch" event
- nature walks and planting
- building bug hotels
- lantern parade for Halloween

What else would you like to see happening in the park?

We're looking forward to working with the community and the local council to see just what we can come up in 2016/17! 

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Thanks in advance...

So many people have supported our Big Lunch and we wanted to say thank you here.

Thanks for donations, sponsorship and support

B&Q and for sponsoring our tent
Eibe for sponsoring the Bake Off prizes
Asda Walthamstow 
Sainsburys Walthamstow
Jim and Sheila Cairns

Thanks for the Loaned equipment

Thanks to contributors
Dr Bike
Face Painters
Pumphouse Museum
The local Police
The local Fire Brigade
Clare Coghill
All the lovely bakers who are contributing to our cake stall for fundraising

....and of course our wonderful community! Looking forward to seeing you at St James Park on Sunday 1st. In the meantime, the final favour we need is - cross your fingers for sunshine!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Big Lunch activities: Dr Bike

As well as inviting you all to come down for a great big ol' picnic, we've got lots of fun things planned for 1st June at the Big Lunch at St James Park.

We're really pleased that Dr Bike will be with us for the duration of the picnic, from 11:00 - 3:00pm, with two different activities on the day. 

FREE Cycle Training (11-3)

These are basic cycle confidence drop-in taster sessions, spaces are allocated on arrival so you can turn up on the day and join in. Those who will get most out of the sessions are those that are around 5-6 years old and upwards (out of stabilisers). Those aged under 16 years of age require a parent or guardian present. Practical advice and guidance will be provided on the day by two instructors, this includes; balance, control, signalling, mainly off road skills.

FREE Dr Bike (11-3)

At Dr Bike sessions experienced cyclists and mechanics check everything on your bike from wheels, brakes, gears and tyre pressure to lights, racks, pedals, saddles and more. Any minor adjustments Dr Bike can make to the bike he/ she will do there and then. Anything they can't fix on site they will let you know exactly what needs doing and a rough guide to what it should cost at a bike shop.

Have you seen the lovely new bike racks at the park? Just installed this week, in time for the Big Lunch! 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The first St James Park Bake Off

We're really excited that we'll be hosting our first St James Park Bake Off as part of the Big Lunch on the 1st of June - full details and how to enter are here (including the entry form that you need to submit with your wonderful bakes…)

We know that there's lots of fabulous amateur bakers around Walthamstow and we're looking forward to seeing your amazing creations!

Classic Cupcakes – 6 cupcakes made to the same recipe, all decorated the same

Beautiful Biscuits – 6 identical biscuits, made to the same recipe, all decorated the same

Favourite Family Cake – the choice of flavour and decoration is up to you,  but it must be presented on a plate/board that’s a maximum of 30cm in diameter

Best Kids’ Cupcakes – Under 16s only, 6 cupcakes made to the same recipe, all decorated the same