As the work of restoring the Park draws to a conclusion and the replanting is well under way the Friends of Pannett Park are planning a "Grand Opening". This will take place on Wednesday 2nd June, from 12 to 4.30 pm.
In November it rained, in December it snowed, in January it froze, in February it snowed again........and in March the sun has come out!
Following the obvious challenges of the winter the main restoration contract is finally nearing completion at the beginning of March 2010. The programme of tree and shrub planting is now well underway and should be completed in the spring.
21st October 2009: Lily Pool Columns Installed
An important stage has been reached in the restoration of the much loved Lily Pool with the installation of the pavillion columns this week. The Lily Pool is one of the key features of the Park and was originally donated by the family of Captain Kirby of Whitby. Restoration of the Lily Pool will have cost around £120k when completed.
14th October 2009: Site Clearance for Construction of Jurassic Garden
Site clearance work has been completed for the start of work on the final new feature in Pannett Park, not far from the floral clock. The Jurassic Garden will take visitors on both a journey through time and a journey through the rocks and fossils of the Whitby area. Many years ago the site was occupied by an extensive rock garden but the Jurassic Garden will give the rockery theme a modern twist.
8th October 2009: Major Footpath Refurbishment Throughout the Park
Major footpath replacement works will extend across Pannett Park until the end of November 2009. In many areas the footpaths are crumbling and lack proper foundations and kerbs. These will be installed during the next five weeks, starting in the area around the new play area. Footpath work next to St. Hildas terrace which has already started will be completed. This has proved particularly challenging because of the steep gradients in the park and the need to make access easier for everyone.
28th September 2009: Compost Corner at Pannett Park
To prepare the beds and borders at Pannett Park for planting this winter 540 cubic metres of well rotted farmyard manure, and another 540 cubic metres of PAS 100 standard municipal compost, will each be spread to a depth of 100mm and cultivated in. This process is programmed to take several weeks during the early Autumn.
19th September 2009: New Planting Season Starts at St. Hildas Terrace
This season's shrub planting starts on a modest scale next to the new Play Area near St. Hilda's Terrace. Planting left off here at the end of last season in April 2009. A comprehensive programme of replanting trees, shrubs, and perennials will be carried out throughout the Park over the winter, following completion of the current footpath and cultivation works in November.
18th September 2009: Stone Columns for Lily Pool Manufactured
Columns for the Lilly Pool Pavillion have been turned in jurassic sandstone by craftsmen at Dunhouse Quarry. The columns will support the front of the Pavillion overloooking the Lily Pool. The sections of the columns will be dowelled together with stainless steel pins.
5th August 2009: Grand Opening of the Childrens Play Area
The first major project milestone was reached with the opening of the maritime themed children's play area. It was estimated that up to 1000 adults and children attended. Children's fancy dress prize winners opened the play area assisted by the Mayor of Whitby (Terry Jennison) and Captain Cook Harry Collett). The event was an overwhelming success.
4th August 2009: Play Area Completed
The Play area is completed in time for the official opening on 5th August. In just over three months the site has been transformed from a waterlogged plateau with two elderly swings to an exciting contemporary play area which will delight children from Whitby and much further afield.
23rd July 2009: Play Area Deadline Approaches!
With only two weeks until the official play area opening the pressure is on John Hellens Ltd to complete the children's play area. Play equipment safety surfacing, and sculpture has been installed. The ship's rope for the play area boundary has yet to arrive from Norway, steps need and notice boards need to be installed and the play area surrounds turfed. The race is on!
8th July 2009: Prototype Park Seat Unveiled
The prototype of the seat to be used throughout Pannett Park has been specially designed based on the style that would be found in the Park during the 1930s. Traditional timber seats will be used in the Lily Pool area and in front of the Museum. A more contemporary timber design will be installed around the Play Area.
19th June 2009: The Octopus Has Landed
John Hellens Ltd install the octopus sculpture which will be one of the focal points of the new Pannett Park play area. The octopus and accompanying Treasure Chest were carved by Staithes sculptor Steve Iredale (picture right) from a single oak trunk felled earlier in the year.
27th May 2009: Rainwater Harvesting Tank Arrives at Pannett Park.
The 3500 litre rainwater harvesting tank arrived on site ready to be installed underground at the rear of the Museum Car Park. Rainwater from the museum roof will be diverted into the tank. An electric pump will lift water from the from the tank and to be used for watering trees and shrubs in the area behind the Museum.
26th May 2009: Improvements to Museum Car Park
Improvement work to the the Car Park located behind the Whitby Museum building begins. The car park will ultimately be resurfaced and proper kerbs installed. Plastic modules will be used to reinforce the turf at the rear of the car park which is used for overspill parking. The Car park is for the use of disabled visitors and museum volunteers only.
12th May 2009: Firm Foundations For Play Area
Following setting out of levels excavations have been carried out for the sub-base to the play area and stone imported to provide firm foundations for the play equipment. A herringbone drainage system and silt trap are installed.
28 April 2009: First Tasks on Site
John Hellens first tasks were to establish site accomodation for their team and setting out the site of the new play area. There are 26 pieces of play equipment to locate, each with a specified safety zone, so setting out the site accurately is critical. It is also important to establish levels because a land drainage system has to be installed under the play area.
27 April 2009: Main Restoration Contract Starts on Site
After two and a half years of planning and grant applications restoration work finally started on site. John Hellens Ltd. were appointed to carry out the contract following a comprehensive competetive tendering process. The first part of the project to be completed will be the new 300k childrens play area and improvements to the Whitby Museum car park and rear access drive. The contract is anticipated to be completed in November 2009.