Tuesday, 3 July 2018

A Guest Post from Anne Clarke - THANK YOU TO CRICKLEWOOD

Having thought about writing a guest blog a fortnight ago, I've been rolling around in my head who I'd like to thank. 

There  are simply so many it's difficult to know where to begin. I could thank my very patient family for forever putting up with my busy life, 

I could thank the shopkeepers who go the extra mile and sweep their bit of Cricklewood Lane  
Cricklewood Lane

or my friends and neighbours who take the time to listen and look after each other. thumbs up

But, it occurs to me, these people are my community. These people build each other up while maintaining the things we all share from green spaces to schools.  So a big thank you and thumbs up thumbs upto them all.

The name of this blog is EverdayFolk. I've had the song Everyday People by Arrested Development in my head for over a week, (YouTube - Arrested Development). Everyday people make the community what it is. 

Living in Cricklewood, our community comes from all over the world and bring a wealth of lived experiences and talents. Our communities are forever changing; some people live their whole lives in Cricklewood, some people's parents met at The Galtymore,

(photo courtesy of BRING-BACK-THE-GALTYMORE-NITECLUB Facebook Group
others stay for a long while and some quickly come and go without getting to know the area at all well. Given that so many of us have families who live oceans away, it makes all the more sense for us to get to know each other and take an active interest in the wellbeing of our neighbours. 

The Clitterhouse Farm building dons a sign “watch this space”. I certainly am watching.

Who are these community builders? It's the people who give their time to plant and nurture our station garden, Swan Hill, the Clitterhouse Farm (The Clitterhouse Farm Project) and the Millennium Green

The orchard at Clitterhouse Farm

    Cricklewood station, now with community garden and the wonderful
@nw2_coffee serving delicious, locally roasted, fair trade coffee. 

Swan Hill, a tiny parcel of land between the railway bridge & the B&Q carpark.
This land has been overgrown for decades & a real eyesore.
The Cricklewood Town Team & NorthwestTwo Residents’ Association
cleared it,put some lovely wooden sleepers at the
bottom and planted it together with local volunteers. 

The Millennium Green is maintained fully by volunteers and there is a
community clean-up 14 July 2018. - 

I want to say thank you and thumbs up thumbs upto say many, too many to list but you know who you are.

The Cricklewood Town Team at the end of the annual Cricklewood Festival, summer 2018. We had another wonderful festival and installed a sheep on the green space. This green had been marked for development in the Brent Cross/Cricklewood Regeneration. A 5-year community battle against Barnet Council finally saw it listed as an Asset of Community Value. More here: https://www.northwesttwo.org.uk/green-space-asset-community-value/
It's also the Cricklewood Town Team who lovingly arrange community festivals and ensure that everyone is included. Governors of local schools give up countless hours of time pursuing the best possible outcomes for children.

So to our community gardeners, the Cricklewood Town Team and all our schools’ governers, a big thank you and thumbs up thumbs up.

Loch Ness Monster, laid out by residents for the enjoyment
of children on the estate.
Further up Cricklewood Lane, is the Granville Road Estate  

Granville Road Estate flowers planted by residents,
set against the barrier which protects the new private development.

who pulled together while their green spaces were threatened with development. (twitter @GERANW2  They have lost many well fought battles but what can't be taken from them is community. They look after each other, care for the most vulnerable on the estate and celebrate their friendships with the Great Get-Together that took place on 23rd June, #TheBigLunch - there are some super photos on both @GERANW2's twitter page and their facebook page facebook.com/gera.  It's more than an estate, it's a community which can't be built nor destroyed by development.  A special thanks and thumbs up thumbs upthumbs upthumbs up to Anthony, Tracey and Deepa.  

In times of austerity with cuts everywhere we look, it's easy to want to give up and look for the negative. Communities don't give up, there's far too much to be lost that way.  

So to all communities sticking together and promoting the positive, thank you and thumbs up  thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up

                                    Anne Clarke was born and raised in Illinois, she came to London in 1998.
She is a member of the Cricklewood Town Team
 and NorthwestTwo and she is involved with local schools
In 2018, Anne was elected as a ward councillor for Childs Hill.
Anne lives in her very favourite place in the world, Cricklewood.
She can be found on twitter at @anne_clarke

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