Clubhouse Residents gathered on an unused piece of land at the top of Carlisle Road for the Clubhouse Community Gardening Day. Set to be a day of free outdoor gardening activity for residents of all ages, the day formed part of the Clubhouse programme, a year-long filmmaking and active citizenship project.
Inspired by In Situ Cinema, a film made by the young residents in the summer of 2016, they worked together with a bpha contractor to transform a piece of land that connects Carlisle road to Chester Road. They planted narcissi and tulip bulbs in anticipation of Spring and seven silver birch trees.
The initial idea for the day came from resident Bex Palmer and following discussion in the Clubhouse working group (a small group of engaged resident parents and grandparents), resident Fatuma Nassir worked with the Clubhouse team to submit a successful Cash 4 Your Community application to bpha.
The residents decided to name the trees after significant members of the Chester & Carlisle Road community. Residents were asked to submit a name and short description as to why they felt this person should be nominated. The seven successful nominees were:
Auntie Betty – for her long-running dedication and kindness to the children on the two streets and for being the longest resident of Carlisle Road!
Sam Nightingale – for being the big brother of Chester and Carlisle Roads and role model to younger residents.
Little Grace – for always taking care of the smaller children that live on the street.
Joshua – for his love of silver birches! He was the young resident who talked about silver birches in the 2016 film.
Fatuma – for her hospitality to her neighbours and being a great cook.
Lillian – for having the most beautiful garden on the two streets and for always having time for a chat.
Caiden – for being a loyal and good friend to the children on the two streets.
During the Clubhouse winter workshops, artist Anne-Marie Stijelja, worked with the residents to make seven plaques to name each tree after the nominated residents using simple metal embossing techniques. Anne-Marie was also invited to work with the residents to build a bug hotel, inspired by the film made in the winter of 2016 (The Bug Hotel). ‘The Clubhouse 4 Bugs’ now also stands on the once unused piece of land.
The Cash 4 Your Community fund allowed the residents to buy the tulip and narcissi bulbs planted on the gardening day, as well as simple gardening equipment (e.g. gloves and trowels) and durable materials used to make the plaques and bug hotel.
Clubhouse is a year-long art and community programme supported by a grant from Health Courage through the Health Lottery, plus support from Arts Council England, bpha and Bedford Borough Council.