Guest Blog by David Bower, Knowle Society
Diamonds aren’t forever, or at least anniversaries only last a year and The Knowle Society is nearing the end of its Diamond Jubilee. ‘Sparkling’ describes the celebratory event in October which came hot on the heels of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration in Knowle for which the Society was pleased to be a significant contributor. After sixty years, many organisations might think of ‘hanging up their boots’ but innovation is very much in the air. A thorough review of strategy is ongoing, the jubilee year began with Zoom based virtual meetings which continue to meet a demand; we are in an exciting exploration with Knowle Local History Society for greater working together and a potential project of public benefit for the presentation of our significant historical resources.
Following the recent huge success of the renewal of playground equipment in Jobs Close (Knowle) Park, the Society is in partnership again with Love Knowle Park to establish a half basketball court; significant funding for which has already been obtained and the word on the street is that there is no shortage of interest in the project, something which can be enjoyed solo, with a friend or as a small group.
These are perhaps the sparkly aspects of the Society’s work but continuing month in, month out in the background is meticulous work, reviewing every new planning application in Knowle and seeking to respond appropriately in line with our aims to see good development in Knowle; this can also involve direct engagement with developers seeking to offer advice and encouragement to ensure appropriate designs in keeping with conservation area legislation and the Local Plan. Similar regular commitment covers local community services, policing, airport and other transport bodies; then there is litter picking and local history exhibitions, with perhaps the less well-known fact that the Society works with Library Services to enable the Knowle Library to open every Saturday afternoon, a service which has shown regular appreciation by Library users. We even adopted and maintain the old Telephone Kiosk and keep it stocked with local information.
Parking is an important area of concern on which the Society is cooperating with other local organisations; this is becoming more of a concern again post-lockdown. A recent survey conducted on the subject also included a question about how the Society is viewed. The results varied from over-complimentary to downright rude but hearing the views of the community does matter very much to the Society and this is something that we seek actively as we step into the future.
However, the future is entirely dependent on that ever-scarce resource – ‘Volunteers’. The Society is run by volunteers, from the Trustees and the committee members to the nearly 100 volunteers who distribute our Newsletters. It might seem that we are well off for these stalwarts, but there’s a constant need to replace or boost the numbers. If you could spare a little time occasionally or, even better, regularly, you’ll be very welcome. There’s a wide range of ways you can help to maintain the character of the village. Get in touch through the website – https://www.knowlesociety.org.uk/about/contact-us/.