Here are Ian and Margaret Scott, who had just finished their relay leg, with Ivy Grant and her son Richard, who were just about to start. Ian, Margaret and Ivy all took part in the famous 1977 Ladies versus Men Football Match that was held in Manning’s Pit at the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations.
Forty three years later, they met up again to take part in our Walking Relay. Ian is a former Mayor of Barnstaple and his drawing of The Old Stone Bridge (see below) in the fields was used to raise money as a print earlier in our campaign (some still for sale, by the way.) In fact, Ian, Margaret and Ivy have met many times since 1977 of course, and walk regularly in Manning’s Pit. We were very impressed by their fitness as well!
Ian Scott’s drawing of the Old Stone Bridge. He had walked across it during the relay, before the above photo was taken.
Finally, don’t forget, if you want to help us Buy Manning’s Pit to keep it safe for the local community, so that some of us can meet up again in forty three years time, to do another relay perhaps… you can find out how to donate from our website: www.manningspit.com
Here are John Lovelock and Wendy (with Twinkle) our two walking fund raisers, meeting at the moment before sunset in Manning’s Pit on the longest day of the year.
The damp dawn had turned into a most beautiful day, with balmy sunshine and blue skies. Throughout the day local people who love Manning’s Pit had been quietly taking part in a special social distancing version of a relay, the priority being that from Dawn to Dusk supporters would be taking turns to wend their way around the fields that so many people love.
Photographs have already gone up on Twitter and Facebook, and more will come here, but there were many highlights. More than anything, there was a wonderful feeling of people coming together, from all ages and walks of life, sharing a common purpose, something that seems extra special in these difficult times.
The event also signalled the fact that our campaign. to Buy Manning’s Pit – quiet during full lockdown – is active again. It is probable that Manning’s Pit (called Land to the East of Windsor Road by auctioneers who had no idea of what a special place they were listing in their catalogue) may go back for sale again.
It’s the longest day of the year, and supporters of the Friends of Manning’s Pit (which is described by auctioneers as “Land to the East of Windsor Road”) are demonstrating how much these fields mean to them, in a strictly socially distanced way. One by one they are letting their feet do their talking, starting off with John (who has already raised over £1000 with a previous walk.) Here he is at sunrise, at the entrance to Manning’s Pit, about to go for a very early walk.
We are now in June and it will soon be the summer solstice. It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed since lockdown began.
Manning’s Pit is very close to North Devon Hospital, and very many people who work there live in Pilton and Bradiford. We felt it was right to take something of a back seat while so many people had to contend with the pandemic. The number one focus in the country was on supporting the NHS, and this was especially relevant here.
During the main lockdown period, Manning’s Pit was on of the few green spaces within walking distance of Barnstaple, and it has never been busier, with some supporters saying it was nearly as crowded as the beach. At the same time it was always possible to walk safely with adequate social distancing. We hope that this will underline the importance of Manning’s Pit to the local community.
There couldn’t be a harder time than now to raise money, but we will be getting active again. It looks as if the fields may yet go back to Auction. We do not have a date or confirmation yet about what will happen, but we will continue our fight until the end. If it is sold, then the battle goes on, and we hope that any prospective buyer will realise what they are facing.
Manning’s Pit is NOT just “land off Windsor Road.” It is a very special place. It may be on the edge of Pilton and Barnstaple, but it is very much at its heart.
While we wait for further news about the sale of Manning’s Pit, our total raised continues going up. We have now raised £60,502.
Manning’s Pit has never looked more beautiful, and during this time of lock down, many more people are discovering how important it is to have such a beautiful green space close to our town.
We don’t know why Manning’s Pit has been removed from the April 1st catalogue and the sale postponed. If we learn anything more, we will let you know!
Go to our News Page to see what has been happening in the last couple of weeks.
Two important pieces of news:
Nationwide firm of Developers building in fields adjacent to Mamning’s Pit (“Land to the East of Windsor Road, according to auctioneers”) give donation to help us Buy Manning’s Pit.
North Devon MP writes to auctioneers, asking whether they can legitimately advertise Manning’s Pit as having planning potential.
Latest News and Totals
On our website, updated more regularly
The news and full details are on our website manningspit.com.
We now have three weeks to go, and a lot of money to raise.
The details in the Auction catalogue suggest that Manning’s Pit – or Land to the East of Windsor Road as they call it – might have potential for future development, because of the fact that there is building going on in an adjacent field.
Barratt David Wilson Homes are the developers building there – and they have made a donation to our fund raising appeal to help buy Manning’s Pit for the community.
Read this article by Tony Gussin from the North Devon Gazetter for more information.