Mrs J and I took our four year old daughter to Harlow Town Park last night for the annual fireworks night festivities. It was the first time that we had taken our daughter to fireworks, and she was very much looking forward to it.

The fireworks were in my opinion superb. I always feel very proud of the our council at the display and the turnout was huge. Last year was the first time we held it on a Sunday (to reduce traffic problems with the road closures) and we had a record turnout. I think this year we may have beaten that turnout too.

All in all a great night!

Our Bonfire Night celebrations in Harlow Town Park this year will be on the evening of  Sunday 7 November.

We decided to hold it on Sunday for the second year running after the success of last years event, and to reduce disruption to the users of the roads nearby.

As always, Fifth Avenue will be closed for about four hours from half six in the evening. I can only imagine the chaos and gridlock that would cause to Harlow if we held the celebrations on the Friday evening.

Admission to the event will of course be free.

The Heart 101.7 roadshow with Martin and Su from the breakfast show will kick off the event just after 6 pm. The bonfire will be lit at 7.15pm and then the firework display starts at 7.45pm.

The plans to revitalise Harlow Town Park have moved one step closer to securing lottery funding.

Harlow Council has this week secured the initial backing of both the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund (BLF) for their scheme to revitalise the Town Park.

We have bid for £1.6m funding to help us in the publicly backed plan to restore Spurriers House, redevelop the Water Gardens and the Bandstand and other landscaped areas. The bid also would provide new education facilities and improve Pets’ Corner.

Whilst we have not yet got that funding we have been told that we have made it to the next round of the the HLF and BLF Parks for People programme.

For making that next round the Council has received £104,000 development funding.
This funding should enable us to work up more detailed plans before a final funding application in March 2011.

In Harlow we all love the Town Park but some areas are in serious need of revitalizing. It has been quite a long time since much money was spent on the park. I remember from my childhood years that the area near Spurriers and the Bandstand was always a hive of activity, and that’s the kind of environment that we would like to recreate.

It’s really good to get this far and know that there is a chance of securing the funding for some of the work. Of course the battle doesn’t stop here, we still have a lengthy bidding application process to go through, and we would need to find match funding to complete the bid… Perhaps I need to go and nose around the various European pots of money floating around at the moment and see if there are any for urban parks….

I am really pleased that Harlow Council is working in partnership with the local Royal British Legion to introduce a new memorial to the Netteswell War Memorial garden in the Town Park.

The new plinth will show Harlow’s gratitude to those members of the Armed Forces who have given their lives in conflicts since 1945. The memorial will include Private Robert Foster who died in Afghanistan in 2007.

So both the Council and the Royal British Legion are inviting members of the community to put forward names for commemorating on the new Harlow War Memorial.

The criteria for an individual to be commemorated on the memorial is that they were member of the armed forces killed on active service in a recognized conflict, born in Harlow, and/or had strong links with the town. For example been an established resident of Harlow, been a resident of Harlow immediately prior to service in the forces, been a long-term employee in Harlow or has a family home in Harlow.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I think a great deal of those who put their lives on the line in the Armed Forces, so I will be particularly happy to see this memorial finished with the input of local people. All being well with confirming names supplied with MOD and any remaining family of the deceased then the new memorial should be ready for its dedication on Armistice Sunday this year.

To meet that deadline any names need to be submitted by 31 August 2010. Any names received after that date may not be included in time for this years ceremony, but will be added at a later date.

If you are going to put a name forward, then please provide as much information as possible, including: the service, regiment, name, date of birth, service period, service number and short background.Details of personnel can be submitted online by following this link and completing the on-line form or if you prefer you can send the details to: J. McGill, Property & Facilities Manager, Harlow Council, Water Gardens, Harlow, Essex CM20 1WG