The People’s Playground

Wavertree Playground, known to us round these parts as ‘The Mystery‘ or ‘The Mizzy’, celebrated 125 years today since its formal opening as a public park, on 7th September 1895. Gifted to the people of Liverpool by a mystery donor (hence its nickname), who was later revealed to be shipping magnate Phillip Holt, the park has been kept as a green space for play and recreation throughout its 125 year history.

Press cuttings from its opening refer to the launch event as ‘A Brilliant Gathering’ and so – taking into account necessary C19 restrictions in terms of permitted scope and scale – the Love Wavertree crew set out to gather, as best as we were able, and to celebrate our loved, valued and majestic local green space as brilliantly as we could!

Meeting at the #ReLoved hub, which was bedecked in balloons and blooms, we set off for one of our litter picks, this one designed to show our Mystery some love. We were delighted to be joined by our good friends Polly and Richard from Scouse Flowerhouse, who led us on a ‘Wildflower Walk’, and whose expertise in and passion for wildflowers shone through. A huge thank you from us to them!

(Thanks too for our co-branded LW x SF ‘Mystery’ wildflower seeds! We can’t wait to sow them and see what comes next!)

We were particularly keen to understand the opportunities and potential solutions to address the large, fenced patches of dry grassland left on The Mystery in the wake of recently planted saplings which, due to inclement and unseasonal weather, had sadly died. One of our members reported that new trees were due to be planted by Mersey Forest in November. Polly and Richard advised that, for optimum growth and flourishing, any wildflowers would need to be sown before planting the trees.

It was great to see both the tree-planting and wildflower planting programme later confirmed by our Wavertree Councillors on social media. We are so pleased to see such swift action on this, and look forward to welcoming both wildflowers and new trees to The Mystery and to Wavertree over the course of the year! Wonderful.

Buoyed by a potential resolution, our happy gang of litter pickers crossed The Mystery to head back toward the ReLoved hub, with plenty of laughs and merriment along the way…

Richard and Becca invent litter picker hockey

…but there was one last birthday surprise!! The Wavertree Community Gospel Choir, including Love Wavertree volunteer Emma, surprised us all with a ‘flash mob’ choir! It was wonderful to hear their joyful singing ring out across The Mystery and, we think, a fitting tribute from us to this glorious space that we are proud to still call ours. The People’s Playground.

Oh, and there was cake. Always cake!

Happy Birthday to our Mizzy! Here’s to the next 125 years!

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