FoSJP Gardening Team Report, Wed 2nd and Wed 9th January

Wednesday 2nd January

Four of us came and made a very encouraging impact on the park!  We were also encouraged by a visit from Nigel Fullbrook, our Council supervisor, who is doing good things on our behalf.  Congratulations are in order to Nigel’s predecessor, Simon Buston, who has received further promotion even since he left us in the autumn.

Red hot poker ( Kniphofia) plants were dug up and divided so that they are spread into many more areas of the park for us to enjoy in the summer.  The beautiful ornamental grasses had their winter trim.  Leaves were cleared and gathered and more weeding done. Five Lonicera Baggeson’s gold and Canna bulbs were planted to enhance the border.

Wednesday 9th January (report by Nigel; pictures courtesy of Bruce)

5 members of the garden team enjoyed a cold but sunny session in the Park today.

More plants were split and replanted, more leaves were tidied and collected, more leaf mould was dug out and added to the trough planters around the café.  A replacement wheel has been purchased for the wheel barrow, to replace the current flat tyre, which will be repaired and kept as a spare. 2 new brooms have also been purchased, together with a sheet of d.p.c. plastic sheet, with the aim of lining the leaf bins to act as a barrier to the tree roots.

Tea and mince pies, from Marina, were enjoyed by the crew at the end of work.

Gardening in the Park

The aim of the FoSJP Gardening Team is to help Southampton City Councilto maintain and further develop the planting in St.James’ Park, in particular with a view to using interesting and colourful plants that will attract wildlife and provide community involvement in the Park.

We meet in the Park every Wednesday, from 1.00pm to 3.00pm (weather permitting). You don’t need to be a gardening expert to join us: just to be enthusiastic, keen to learn, and able to commit to a few hours in the Park every now and then. If it’s your first visit and you can’t find the team, please make contact with Marina via the Cafe.

An introduction to the FoSJP Gardening Team

Please see our Calendar page for dates and times of forthcoming Gardening Team sessions.

Information on additional sessions might also be posted on the FoSJP Facebook page or on the noticeboards in and around St.James’ Park.

To find out more about the Gardening Team, please email us on


On 11th Nov 2018 at 1.45pm on BBC1 Songs of Praise Remembrance special from Southampton.  Katherine Jenkins interviews Shirley born, FoSJP member, Don Smith.  Don shares memories of Spitfire production in Shirley (one of the Shadow factories was the now Shirley Parish Hall, then a Temperance Hall).

During WW2 the RAF and WAAF operated a barrage balloon in the then Shirley Recreation Ground that helped protect these Shirley shadow factories from enemy attack from the skies.  At the Nov History meeting we were loaned a book called, ‘Up She Goes’ by Joan Vass, a novel based on the memories of a Shirley Rec WAAF barrage balloon operator

Our Thoughts Go to Joan’s Family at This Sad Time.

It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden loss of one of our longstanding FoSJP members, Joan Rogers, a former nurse who lived in Shirley.  She was a regular attendee of our history talks and park events and will be remembered for her welcoming smile and generosity of heart.  Our thoughts go to Joan’s family at this sad time.

There will be a service celebrating Joan’s life,  on Friday, 16thNovember at 12.45pm in St. James’ Church.  All are welcome.

Shirley Local History Group Autumn Talk 10th Series 2018

October – December 2018

  • Sunday 7th October Title: The Theatre of the World’ a story of Tudor Southampton – an author’s journey‘ Speaker: Dr Cheryl Butler
  • Sunday 4th November Title: ‘Snippets of Shirley Life During WW1.’ Speaker: Michaela Lawler-Levene
  • Sunday 2nd December Title: ‘Notable and Notorious Women of Southampton’ Speaker: Sandra Lochead

Talks held 3-5pm at Shirley Parish Hall, (corner of Colebrook Avenue/ St James Road, Shirley SO15 5NS.

  • Talks are free.
  • Refreshments available.
  • Wheelchair accessible.

The history group is always grateful for assistance with the baking and serving of refreshments and donations for the raffle.  Baskets for making food hampers and tinned food / bottled drink donations are gratefully accepted in November ready for the December raffle.  (Please bring to the Shirley Parish Hall Nov meeting or leave with Theresa at the Shirley Parish Office, 133 Church Street).

Thank you for all the support received these past 10 years.

Contact email: Website:

St James’ Park has been recognised as one of UK’s very best green spaces

Friends’ of St. James’ Park are extremley happy to have received the Green Flag Award for all round excellence 2018/19.

We would love to thank all of our Volunteers, Friends, Commitee Members, Co-ordinators and the Council (especially Simon Buston, the West Area Parks Co-ordinator, who works tirelessly with us and is a great asset to the Council) for making this happen!

To top this off, Southampton City council announced today the following press release:





” St James’ Parks and Riverside Park have each been recognised as one of the UK’s very best green space

Today, a record number of parks and green spaces collect a Green Flag Award.

Both St James’ Park in Shirley and Riverside Park in Bitterne Park have been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as being amongst the very best in the world. St James’ Park and River Side Park join other green spaces awarded recognition in Southampton.

The parks are among a record-breaking 1,883 UK parks and green spaces that will today receive a prestigious Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space.

This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

Both parks are unique in character, but are similar in having fantastic community lead friends groups at the heart of their management. They work tirelessly alongside Council staff to ensure that the parks are some of the best in the world.

Cllr Jacqui Rayment said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Award for our parks.

“We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining both St James and Riverside Parks to such a high standard.”

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme, with more Green Flags awarded this year than last year.”  

“Each flag honours the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. We are proud to have so many wonderful green spaces in the UK for people to enjoy, and hope that next year, we award even more flags.”

FoSJP has become a registered Charity!

Great News from the Friends of St. James Park!

Friends of St James Park has now been registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales as a charitable incorporated organisation with voting members other than its trustees.

We will continue to function as previously with all our supporters but there will no longer be a membership fee. An important change, however, is that, as a registered charity, we will now be eligible to apply for many more grants and funding which will enable us to continue with our existing work and to offer more to the local community.

Please find our Constitution CIO here.

We look forward to your continuing support and please get in touch if you would like to become more involved with the charity!


Boxing Fun Returns to the Park!

Boxing fun at St. James Park

Free Boxing Fun sessions on Tuesdays at 9.30 am -10.30 am

Feel free to book on the ParkLives website or come along on the day.

Meet on the large green, look out for the ParkLives flag and coach wearing green.

To book click here.


Dementia Drop In

Drop in Sessions for people living with Dementia

(Including Carers, Family, Friends)

Dates – From Monday 26 March (Then every fortnightly Monday)

Time – 1-3 pm

Place – Community Room at St. James’ Park, SO15 5SD

See Upcoming events for the next meeting

You are welcome to come along to our Drop-In session for everybody who is living with Dementia.

These sessions are informal and will be tailored to the wishes of the attendees.

We can offer activities such as:

  • Games
  • Music and Film
  • Gentle Activities
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Outside Activities

Feel free to bring your lunch, and we will supply you with tea and coffee 🙂

For more information please see our Facebook event:

Dementia Poster

Serendipity Group

Serendipity Group
St James Park, Shirly

Autism Hampshire

Great way to meet new people with Autism like you

All adults welcome

young or old (18+)

This social group is led by community group staff and volunteers

Meetings are every 2nd Tuesday (11am to 1pm)

in the community room behind the café.

See Upcoming events for the next meeting

St James Park, St James Road, Shirley SO15 5SD

This is a lovely social group for adults with higher functioning autism. The group is organised in line with the wishes of its members. Currently, board games are popular! Refreshments provided.

To enquire if the group is suitable for you, please contact us by emailing:

Partly funded by