News and Updates

17 June 2017 - Friends of Platt Fields Annual General Meeting

The 23rd Friends of Platt Fields AGM will take place on Saturday 17th June 2017, doors open at 10.30am for a prompt start at 11am and finish at 1pm, at the Gallery of Costume, Platt Hall, Platt Fields Park, Manchester. M15 5LL.

Refreshments will be available to purchase from the Tea Room from 10.30am.

Please come along to meet the committee and other members, to hear a report about activities in 2016, and to hear of the plans for 2017.


Return for our popular family festival afternoon, to welcome the ( late ....) arrival of spring - activities for families including the always popular "^playing with colour"^ (daubing each other with brightly coloured dry powder paints) ... along with more conventional activities: seed sowing, nest-making, games .. and live performance from dhol drummers and Indian dancers.
Wear white if you want to transform into a human art gallery ...
Jointly organised with the Manchester Indian Association


The huge Parklife music festival has come and gone ... and left devastation in its wake. The park is in a terrible state with whole areas just a sea of churned up mud, mud-streewn pathways, potholes and cracked tarmac. Everywhere smells of urine. It is soul-destroying and we apologise to all of you who go into the park at the moment that you have to be confronted with such a mess. People have described it variously as "^like a war-zone"^ "^like a ploughed field waiting for the crops to be sown"^ "^like a building site"^ ...
our beautiful park, what have they done?
Please feel free to write to local councillors of officers at Community and Cultural Services to make your feelings known. Ask them whether they have seen the park themselves and what do they think?

Our efforts now are to try and make sure that the re-instatements are done properly. This poses a huge problem in connection with the Megamela, scheduled to be held in less than 4 weeks. At this point we cannot see how they will have an area large enough to use for this popular free celebration as so much of the showfield area will need to be fenced off to protect the newly sown grass.

31 May 2012 - Kay Fletcher carrying Olympic torch today!

Our committee member and former treasurer Kay Fletcher will today carry the torch relay near Wigan. Follow her on:

Click on above link and watch Kay in all her glory!


with love from all Friends of Platt Fields


Last year we met the organisers of Parklife in march - which gave them time to make changes depending on what attenders had to say. This year we meet them 2 weeks before they start the set-up in the park!!
Maybe less of a consultation , more of telling local people what is what.
Please come if you can - they do spell out what areas of the park they will be "^taking away from public use"^ and for how long; we discuss anti-social behaviour, noise, litter, traffic management (including our vehicle movements) and most importantly, what they will do to repair the park afterwards ...
("^they"^ includes the Council, not just Parklife managers themselves, who are paying for using Platt Fields. Its just that this park sees none of that money and just gets tattier and tattier.)
At the LAKESIDE CENTRE, next to the LAKE.

01 March 2012 - Tragedy in the park - update: Daniel has now regained consciousness

We were horrified to hear of the terrible incident in which 19 year old student Daniel Whiteley was very badly beaten up and left for dead in the park in the middle of the night earlier this week. Our thoughts are with his parents at his hospital bed ; and we pray that he recovers. It is particularly poignant that almost the day after this dreadful event the sun shone, the crocuses began to bloom in earnest and daffodils are on their way. Clearly nature"s way of bringing a little solace to all of us who mourn.

Update (23/03/2012): We were very pleased to hear in today"^s news that Daniel has regained consciousness, and that he is continuing to improve, although his recovery is expected to take a long time and it is not yet known whether any injuries will be permanent. Our thoughts are with him, and we hope he will return to full health as soon as possible. MEN News Article


11am - 1pm.
Our quarterly meeting will take place on the morning of Bonfire Night this year! We will have reports of our activities, you can meet Kylie Ward, our recently arrived park manager, who will give her report; and we welcome the Director of Red Rose Forest, who will talk about the magnificent trees in our park, how to recognise them and how to look after them. I think many of us do not realise what a vital place trees play in our environment and our lives.
Refreshments and convivial conversation as always!
Everyone welcome

30 July 2011 - FRIENDS OPEN MEETING 11am-1pm

SAVE OUR PARK!" ... Our normal 3 monthly meeting, where we give you reports on our activities, grants and projects, has an urgent new focus ...the looming cuts to public services, which in Manchester has mostly preserved parks up til now, but in October Leisure Services disappears to be replaced by Neighbourhood Services - no dedicated park workers, everyone will be available for the whole range of services needed. In addition, the budget cuts mean that we have to have large paying events in the park - not a problem in themselves, but the damage to the environment is just not being covered - litter, great ruts, poor drainage, whole swathes of grassland just brown patches. This is just not a sustainable situation, we need to build a campaign to make sure our park remains a park not a rec.
If you cannot come to the meeting but would like to stay informed or help, please email us!

03 July 2011 - speakers corner again!

yes folks its the first DSunday opf the month ... and we are back with another chance to speak our minds about the world and our feelings about anything in it .... your feelings about Parklife? the battle over pensions and the strikes? Greece and who"^s next? wimbledon?

open to everyone, join the debate with us ... to listen or speak yourself


04 June 2011 - Restricted Access due to Parklife Festival

Due to preparations for the Parklife Festival access across the north side of the park by Platt Lane (the showfields) is heavily restricted and Lime Walk (the Avenue) is closed to the public due to the large vehicles that will be using it.

There are now 3 possible routes across:

1) Green - There is access between the fence and Platt Lane Complex. It is off the paths and is a bit narrow in places, although wider than last year.

2) Red - Between 7am and 10pm daily, up until a date nearer the festival, there is paved access across the festival site. This goes over the temporary bridge the festival organisers have constructed.

3) Pink - Although the site will include much of the Rose Gardens this year the main path past Platt Hall and Oxford Road is outside the site and can be used by the public at all times.

01 May 2011 - Speakers Corner Election Special

See the events page for details.

11 April 2011 - New 3d Panoramas of Platt Fields

Check out our new 3d panorama views of the park, taken during the lovely weather we had at the weekend. You can find them here.

02 April 2011 - Annual General meeting and Book Launch!

11.30am 1.00pm

Our annual review of the year past, the official launch of our book and our plans for the 2011.


Following the meeting, you can look round the gallery and see the new exhibition


At last, after so many weeks, our 80-page book of stories, memories and photos of the History of Platt Fields, is back from the printers. it looks fabulous and we are very pleased with how it has turned out. many ma y thanks to everyone who has helped contribute to the book, by giving us stories or photos.
The book is FREE to all members of the ~friends - so why not join today for the next year - 5 per household or 3 students/unwaged/retired.
For others it costs 5 + postage, order via this website and we will send them as soon as we receive your cheque. PLEASE MAKE CHEQUES TO FRIENDS OF PLATT FIELDS and send to 59 Mabfield Rd, M14 6LW

Buy some as presents for your friends and family. Anyone who uses the park will love it we think!

13 October 2010 - New Historical Maps Feature

Check out the new feature on the website allowing you to view sections of old maps overlayed on the Platt Fields area. Click here to find out how the park used to look!

07 October 2010 - Volunteer Activity Day Sunday 17th October 1-4pm

Our first activity day since the Universities have started back again, so we hope to attract lots of you and have a constructive, fun and busy afternoon.
Every one welcome - we set you up in small teams of max 6 people, all over the park, each team is working with one of the Friends with lots of experience. We provide all tools and refreshments at the end! Wear oldclothes, bring rain-wear and boots or heavy shoes. Enjoy the stunning autumn in Platt Fields and make lots of new friends!
Contact Anna 07870 684896 if you need to

04 October 2010 - sorry sorry sorry for cancelling Grub and Gossip!

a huge apology for the first cancellation of an event ever in the park ... because of torrential rain all morning and in fact until 2.30pm or so (half way through the event).
We never normally do this - we just felt that since food was such an important part of this, that to waste 200 worth of food on very few people was a really bad idea. So we have frozen it all (soups, bolognese, garlic bread etc) and we shall re schedule this event in the spring.
Thanks to the 20 or so really brave souls who came down in spite of the rain - you are stars! We promise you the first bowls of steamingsoups when we finally do Grub and Gossip!
Meanwhile the wonderful centenary mural stage 1 is up and there for everyone to look at. People have suggested we light it up at night - we are researching how we can do that with solar or wind energy . Hmmm.

02 October 2010 - fabulous end to Diwali - did you see our swans?

26 September 2010 - speakers corner - WOW!

Amazing first attempt at reviving Speaker Corner ... we had no idea how it would work, or if anyone would turn up at all. The press were extremely generous and gave us quite a bit of publicity - nd were there too! Along with around 20 - 30 people at all times (it was so cold that most visitors couldnt stay longer than an hour except us die-hards of course!!). We had one soap-box working almost all of the time - not bad for starters (in its heyday in the 30"^s and 40"^s there were 20 going at once) and a great range of speakers... on topics such as Peterloo, the arts, bicycles, critical mass, religion, RE in faith schools, Israel and Palestine ....
A group of people who were there want to get it going every month on trhe 1st Sunday - they want to start on November 1st ... watch this space!

12 May 2010 - FABULOUS fabulous centenary!!

The full write-up of the BIG 100! Centenary Festival is now on the event pages here. Hurry on over to see the photos!


Its nearly here - our wonderful centenary celebrations ... a weekend round a re-creation of the bandstand, with a beautiful large marquee. Live music on the bandstand during the day and in the marquee at night; street theatre, strolling performance, stalls, crafts, activities and a Victorian style fairground.
Friday 7 - 10.30pm; Sat 1 - 10.30pm; Sun 1 - 6pm FREE!

See the events page for full programme...

17 April 2010 - our Annual General Meeting and Illustrated Talk

Join us in the beautiful surroundings of Platt Hall this year (NOT the Lakeside Centre)to find out what we have been doing this last year. Join our committee if you are interested; and watch/listen to the incredible knowledge and stories of the park, Platt hall (and probably also Rusholme/Fallowfield) told by local author and historian Chris Makepeace. He will bring some of his books too, for you to look at
11.30am AGM (note later time than usual); 12.15pm talk with slides. Refreshments provided. And after this, take a look at the Costume Gallery exhibitions if you havent already.

27 March 2010 - Gardening Group Back for Summer - End of March

Now the spring is here, the Gardening Group will be meeting again on Wednesday evenings from March 31st. Meet any time from 5.30 - 8pm, at the Lakeside centre (next to the lake). Wear comfortable clothes, suitable for outdoors and proper shoes/boots.

23 March 2010 - New Rusholme Archive Website - Check It Out!

A local resident has just created a website containing lots of very interesting information about the history of Platt Fields and other nearby areas. It includes scans of various old photos and postcards. We'd strongly recommend a visit!

Rusholme and South Manchester Archive

06 March 2010 - We leapt into spring at Holi!

Several hundred visitors of all ages, and probably half of Indian origin and half from many other backgrounds . .. all took part isa a joyous celkebration of spring, toasting each other with brightly coloured pigments. In fact this year, some children were more reluctant than the adults! They had perhaps never seen grown-ups so playful! Am excellent afternoon, dancing to |Indian music, sowing seeds, making wonderful smelling cinnamon and ginger biscuits, designing with chalks and doing physical painting (with hands, noses, ears, elbows, whatever!)There was lovely vegetarian food and hot tea galore - as the weather was not exactly sprting-like ..

27 February 2010 - Join us in ...A Walk Back in Time

Dont miss this one day event, designed to be part of the centenary celebrations for the park ... From 11-3pm on Saturday 27th, come to the Toast Rack building opposite the park on Wilmslow Rd - and walk a maze that takes you from 2010 back to 1910 ... in Platt Fields. Full of photos, artefacts, stories and objects, they will hope to retrace life in the park over the last century
Prepared by students from MMU Event management course at Hollins College. Cost 1.00

19 February 2010 - a grant for our recycling stations

We are delighted to hear that we have been awarded a grant from Enterprise Manchester to pay for the installation of 6 "recycling stations" in the park ... to include recycling bays for portable barbecues, large bins for glass/cans/plastic bottles and normal rubbish bins for what is left. The recycling for barbecues is a first for Manchester - and perhaps the UK. We are constructing them ourselves (as part of our volunteer project over the next 3 weeks) as we have been unable to find anything to buy on the internet.
So this summer, we expect all of you to recycle recycle recycle PLEASE!!

17 February 2010 - wonderful launch event

The weather smiled on us on Weds 17th Feb, as we unveiled a fabulous new clock on the boathouse and launched our centenary year. With the help of speeches from Cllr Mike Amesbury (Chair of Leisure Services and our own councillor), Sir gerald Kaufman (our MP and president) and Chas Farghaly (MCC Director of Parks) and the attendance of around 100 pelple, we launched in style - the velvet curtain over the clock came down perfectly, tug by tug on the golden rope holding it up; the sun came out; and we shared biscuits with clock faces painted on them. Following that members of the Friends and VIPs were treated to a delightful buffet lunch, courtesy of Manchester Leisure Services - and finished with blowing out candles on a Platt Fields 100th birthday cake! Many thanks to all who came, and to the wardens who helped us put up the plaque on that morning (it only arrived the night before!), to Hannah Wiles who designed the curtain and gold framing for the clock, to Victor for all his work getting the clock project organised and to Sainsbury"^s for their generous sponsorship of the clock......onward into the centenary!

26 January 2010 - volunteering project up and running!

Our volunteering project (especially for 16 - 25 year olds) is up and running in the park. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - plus other days by arrangement for groups - come to the lakeside centre. We are doing a heap of projects - painting, mosaic, gardening, construction, building a "growing boat", making floating islands for the lake , making a bridge over a ditch and dipping platforms for kids, bricklaying a barbecue ... Text Anna to check she is there 078970 684896

05 January 2010 - Have you built a snowman yet? Check out the snowman gallery page!

Click here for the gallery...

05 December 2009 - 180 trees planted for Guinness Book of Records!

Amazing feat - over 70 volunteers over 1 hour managed to plant 180 trees and hedgerow plants in 2 different areas of the park. The Nico Ditch area will now have a hedgerow linked with mature trees, as a haven for wildlife (especially birds, insects and small mammals) and we have started a new small wood along the fenceline by City in the Community Sporting complex. Mulled wine and mince pies served to all jubilant planter volunteers! THANK YOU!

19 November 2009 - No OAM in December

Dear friends, just to let you now there will be no OAM volunteer day in December because it is so near the Christmas holidays. The next one will be Sunday Jan 17 at 1pm - wishing everyone a very happy Christmas and Hanukah.

19 November 2009 - wonderful news!

We have just been awarded nearly 10,000 from a national organisation "v-inspired" to do a host of projects leading to the centenary celebrations in may 2010 with young volunteers aged 16 - 25. We are busy planning everything, so if you would like to get involved in hopefully very exciting permanent improvements to Platt Fields, please contact us today!

29 October 2009 - Gardeners Question Time Fallowfield-style!

Good session with many questions from visitors, and it ended in a group discussion! We covered topics as varied as
growing grapes and figs in Manchester,
what to do about clubroot on your cabbages,
potato/tomato blight falls with the rain,
how to take cuttings of geraniums and other plants,
saving and using your own seed from ripe crops - especially beans and tomatoes
will pollution finally make it impossible to grow food in soil?
Ron Carter (Secretary of Manchester Allotment Societies) gave excellent explanations and encouraged debate between us all. At the end he was asked what would his question be to GQT? It was "why did my parsnips completely fail this year?" Weather? poor seed? sown at wrong time? who knows .... next year it may work, thats the joy of gardening!

25 October 2009 - "Love your Loo" Project begins!

We have got funding for the first part of this project to transform the public toilets and foyer at thev Lakeside Centre. We are starting with the Ladies Toilet ...
We had the first design session on Saturday, the next one will be
Weds 28 October 4 - 6.30pm (before Gardeners Question Time..!)
Painting/mosaic/collage and all creative stuff starts the following week.
Mon 2 Nov: 1-3pm; T ues 3 Nov: 10 - 12noon; Weds 4 Nov: 10 - 12noon; Fri 6 Nov: 10 - 12noon;
all budding artists, come and help! phone Anna for details: 07870 684896

25 October 2009 - News about Platt Hall Gallery of Costume

Yesterday we had a fascinating Open Meeting (attended by over 35 people) at which Dr Miles Lambert, Director of the Gallery of Costume at Platt Hall, came and told us about how the refurbishment is going there. he described the beautiful spaces that will be open to the public from next March - as the first event in our centenary celebrations. There will be a temporary exhibition space with changing exhibitions (the first will be our "Platt Fields - the first 100 years" collection; a meeting/lecture space; a schools gathering area and workshop; a space for wet/messy work; and a fabulous selection of costume from each decade over the last 100 years. Watch this space. many thanks to Miles.

16 August 2009 - water storage in the boathouse!

One of our Friends has designed and offered to build us a raised platform for water storage tanks, in the eaves of the boathouse. This is wonderful news as it means that schools can water their planters on the goosebank in hot dry weather without having to lean perilously over into the lake. It means that rainwater will be collected from the boathouse gutters,rather than going down the drain. We hope to have this made in the autumn

11 August 2009 - Recycling in the park is a possibility!

We have been given the go-ahead to create 6 recycling stations around the park, so we can be a bit more sustainable about the litter we all generate. Each one will contain a recycling bin (called a "^co-mingled"^ bin) that will take plastic bottles, glass and cans; a square brick barbecue-recycling bay, for disposable barbecues; and landfill bins (for other rubbish that cannot be recycled. We are now fundraising for materials to make these and hope to have them all in place before the end of the year.

31 July 2009 - Critical Mass comes to Platt Fields

Over 200 cyclists of all ages (including a tiny girl in a bike chariot) came to Platt Fields as part of the monthly mass cycle ride in the city centre. They all rode round the lake twice before stopping in front of our wonderful bike mural on the old toilet at Grangethorpe Rd. Lots of people took photos in front of it.

30 July 2009 - We won the green Flag again!

Many congratulations to Manchester Leisure Staff, Glendale and all our members and helpers ... we have won the Green Flag again - and "our strong Friends group and their many different activities" was particularly mentioned. THANKS TO ALL OF YOU!

(for those who dont know the Green Fag is a national recognition of a well-used and well-managed park)

15 July 2009 - Biodiversity Study available for download...

In 2008 the Friends of Platt Fields commissioned a Biodiversity Study of the park. It took some time for the bird and bat surveys to be completed, but now the survey is complete and you can download it from the Plants and Animals page.

01 July 2009 - Friends of Platt Fields on Facebook

We now have a Facebook group. Check it out and join up here.

30 June 2009 - Blue Green Algae in the Lake

Unfortunately the lake is suffering from blue green algae again, and has therefore been closed for all activities (including fishing, boating and model boating). It can be harmful to dogs so please do not let your dogs drink or swim in the lake. If your dog has gone into the lake vets advise washing them as soon as possible.

Also, it has been decided by Park Management that there is to be no duck feeding at the moment.

The ducks will not go hungry as there is plenty of natural food in the lake and surrounding area. The wardens are ensuring the wildfowl are OK.

Thank you for your co-operation.

01 April 2009 - The greenhouse is finished!

We have finished glazing our new greenhouse, after several weeks ... and are ready to start using it, to grow plants for the park. Our gardening group will meet for the first time this Sunday April 5th ... to get started. Meet at the Lakeside at 12.00 noon if you are interested in coming along.

16 March 2009 - A team of 1st year students from University of Manchester have rebuilt the Bug Hotel in the eco garden...

...with an assortment of different habitats. Watch this space to see what creepy crawlies move in where ... There are so many different things: gravel, straw, compost, rotting wood, woodchip, dried leaves ..... Go and look yourself.

15 March 2009 - We had our first outdoor event of the year to LEAP INTO SPRING!

We joined up with the Indian Association to put on Holi (the Hindu Spring Festival of Colour) The weather warmed up specially and hundreds of people came down to dance and "play with colour" ... We also made sweet chocolate nests, adults and kids sowed vegetable seeds to take home and we painted Pisanki - Eastern European-style eggs. It was a fantastic afternoon, with many very happy people. Roll on the next event - the bikefest in 2 weeks time.

10 March 2009 - The boathouse refurbishment is complete (well, the outside at least)

The hoardings are now down (we have put the paintings we + volunteers have done over the winter on the end walls of the building, so you can still admire them ). The new roof is splendid and its all beautifully painted. Now we just need the partitioning inside and we can restore the workshop space and the boatyard.

15 February 2009 - (and 28/02/09) We have been making large barley-straw sausages to lay round the edge of the lake... help keep the bluegreen algae at a far distance ... No more poison on our lake. We are trying hard to encourage our visitors NOT to feed the Canada (big brown) geese bread - they SHOULD EAT GRASS. Please do try and keep the bread only for the ducks and white geese (and inevitably pigeons).

10 January 2009 - Our new biodiversity plan is finished

It is a wonderful document to guide us in how to make the park more wild-life friendly, how to look after the plants and trees, the lake, the fish and the wild birds, and how to add certain new features to encourage more species to find Platt Fields a good place to live!

30 October 2008 - Fallowfield Decides on lots of Good Projects that use the park!

Excellent news, at Fallowfield U Decide meeting on Thursday 30th, several projects were granted some funding, which take place in the park. Many congratulations, we look forward to seeing the results of these improvements! They are:

* Storage facilities for a cycling project that uses the park.
* Platt Fields Angling Club - to make floating islands on the lake, to oxygenate the water.
* BMX Club for more bikes & safety equipment.
* Friends of Platt Fields - money to buy new plants to re-create the original Shakespearean garden back to its glory.

18 October 2008 - BOATHOUSE REFURBISHMENT will start soon!

At last, we have the go ahead for the refurbishment of the boathouse. The roof and guttering will be completely redone, a gable end wall will be rebuilt and we shall have the partition between the boats and the activity workshop. It will take most of the winter to do but we are so delighted! It will begin after half term - we need to clear out everything before Christmas and work will start on January 2nd!

15 October 2008 - All Clear for the Lake!

The second test has come back negative about the poisonous Blue Green Algae in the water. This means that we can start with our winter water activities (putting green "islands" to oxygenate the water.