Rise & Shine

Last updated: 6th November 2018


Photo courtesy of Exeter City Council

An estimated 400 to 500 members of the community turned out to make the “Rise & Shine” celebration a resounding success. After opening speeches the Lord Mayor cut the ceremonial ribbon marking the formal handover by Exeter City Council of Queen’s Crescent Garden to Exeter St James Community Trust.

The Lord Mayor cuts the ribbon with Cllr. Wood, Member Champion for Communities and Robyn Connett, Trust Chair.  Photo courtesy of Exeter City Council

A damp start turned into a glorious day of sunshine and fun with uplifting music from local band, Spin2. The pop–up cafe did roaring trade with fast disappearing doughnuts and croissants; the cake stall’s delicious home-made cakes went, well, like hot cakes; our friends from the Mosque supplied lovely samosas and hot biryani; there were ice-creams and lollies and the plant stall did flourishing business. For the children Spangles the Clown held a circus skills workshop, there was storytelling and henna painting; train rides on Exeter & District Model Engineers Society’s railway and a visit from Thea, the Little Owl.

Finally the whole proceedings were rounded off by St Sidwell’s School Choir. The schoolchildren stole the show with an energetic and resounding performance to mark a fitting end to a joyous day – the day we took charge of our very own precious green space at the heart of our community!

Although primarily a celebration rather than a fundraiser the day did raise the fantastic sum of over £750 for the Trust’s Queen’s Crescent Garden Project. Thank you to all who supported the event and particular thanks to our local city and county councillors who provided grants to cover some of the overheads.

Now, of course, the hard work begins as we embark on the phased regeneration to realise the community’s aspirations for the garden and we hope, as an initial step, that passersby will very soon notice further progress towards restoration of the boundary walls.

If you are not yet a member of Exeter St James Trust please click here to find our more and scroll down the page to download an application form. Join us: help make a difference.


Watch this space!


Passing the Baton – words from the Chairman of Garden Committee till 1994

Lesley Curd, erstwhile resident of Queen's Crescent, was the Chairman of the Garden Committee for 12 years up till 1994, and spent that time encouraging fellow residents to accept the responsibilities set out in a Deed of 1900 which gave conditional use of the 'pleasure garden' to those who occupied these gracious houses. She and her husband led the way with careful maintenance of the garden, but sadly when she moved away, and with fewer and fewer owner occupiers, the Committee folded and the era of neglect commenced.

Lesley who still passes QCG at times, has been very supportive of the Project and has sent these words of appreciation:

“I am so thrilled that the fun I had looking after the 'Park' I loved opposite Queen’s Crescent from 1982 to 1994 has been repeated by so many again. I am inspired by your wonderful team work, and the persistent resolve of you all. This has brought about the legal recognition, and the handing over of the Lease and associated responsibilities for its care to the Trust. You have wonderfully proved your ability and worth in caring for this Green space in the centre of Exeter. Thousands will pass and enter it in the years to come, and like me be encouraged and refreshed. This even more so for the birds and wild life for whom it is home. Well done and thank you.”


Welcome support from business

Two local businesses located in Hem's Court on the doorstep of QCG have demonstrated enthusiastic support for the project and a willingness to become involved. Sands Civil and Structural Chartered Engineers have provided infrastructure advice at QCG and are exploring an idea that might potentially lead to some much-needed ongoing revenue funding for the Garden. Clifton Emery Design have kindly offered professional support in the future and discussed the possibility of their workforce undertaking some practical maintenance work on evening – a wonderful community-spirited offer which we shall be keen to enourage!

Kier Construction and Dainton Storage have also come forward to support us with supply and storage of much needed reclaimed bricks.

As the Trust takes on the responsibility, its QCG Project Team will be delighted to hear from further businesses keen to be involved. The goodwill and generosity of businesses, local and further afield, is greatly appreciated. Please contact trust@exeterstjamesforum.org

Mowing the Meadow
Most of the original public-spirited volunteers are still offering their mowing services, five summer seasons on. However, we shouldn't expect the same few to continue to undertake this work for the community for ever, and so we are looking for new volunteers to come forward to join the rota. Is this something you would be willing to consider? Maybe you would like to come along to see what is involved before committing. Please contact info@exeterstjamesforum.org to offer help or find out more.


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