FOCUS: Joel Park Residents Association gears up for 50th birthday celebrationBy Jon Nurse
February 05, 2013
Families decked out in red, white and blue partied for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in Joel Park last spring.
One year on, members of Joel Park Residents’ Association will be dancing back to the green in Holt Lane for another special anniversary celebration.
Reporter JON NURSE chatted with chairman Steve Sansom to discover the group’s big plans for 2013.
Big parties at Joel Park are becoming something of an annual event these days.
In 2011 patriotic residents from the estate gathered to celebrate Prince William and Kate’s Royal Wedding and 12 months later the partygoers were back to mark 60 years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign on the throne.
On Sunday, June 16, this year, the park will again be a buzz of excitement as the neighbourhood marks 50 years of Joel Park Residents’ Association (JPRA) with a Picnic in the Park, where it’s hoped the community will unite for a bite to eat, football and family races.
Chairman Steve Sansom said: “Because it’s our 50th we are going for it big time. I hope we can fill Holt Copse. Anyone can pop along, bring a barbecue and join in.
“It’s a lovely neighbourhood. It’s very well served by buses, has three excellent schools in walking distance and the people are excellent. It’s a pleasure to live here.”
The association was founded in 1963 as a means of tackling developers who built the estate.
Since then it has gone from strength to strength.
For many young families starting a new life in the area, the group was able to offer a lively social scene with many popular dances.
By the 1980s the bulk of the association’s work was around planning.
It fought against possible development of Matthews Green Farm and campaigned against fast-moving traffic, prompting the introduction of road humps.
Mr Sansom has lived in the neighbourhood for a decade and feels the residents’ association has an important role to play in the community.
“It mixes local politics with a social dimension,” he said.
The association worked Emmbrook Residents’ Association to lobby the borough council to reconsider its plans to move The Emmbrook School from its flood-prone site.
“We were monitoring what was going on with the school and were glad to see the proposed relocation hasn’t gone ahead,” the chairman added.
The association has 560 members and sees a strong renewal for membership every year.
Celebrations for the golden anniversary don’t end with the Picnic in the Park, with preparations well underway for a charity auction on Saturday, June 22.
“We’re looking for some nice and quirky donations to come in,” Mr Sansom said.
“Any individuals or businesses that would like to come forward would be much appreciated.”
The Dog and Duck pub in Matthews Green Road will host the event, with landlord Chris ready to play the role of the auctioneer, and proceeds will go to the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service in Slough.
The pub will also be the location for the association’s annual meeting, which will be at 8pm on Tuesday, May 21.
Councillor Keith Baker, executive member for highways and planning, will speak about infrastructure planned for the area’s Strategic Development Location and will take part in an informal question and answer session.
For more information visit www.jpra.org.uk.