When we moved to Heavitree a few years ago we didn't really give much thought to the local community we were moving into. Convenience to the city centre was high on our list of priorities and access to the park was a big attraction. However, the birth of our son a few years ago highlighted that not only was there a great community here but how important it is. I love the fact that we can chat to our neighbours, bump into friends in the park and get involved in local events.
However, for a long time, I, amongst many others, have muttered about how much the area needed a locally run cafe. For most of us, this was just a passing thought, but fortunately some more motivated people have now taken this on and Faye and Matthew Rowbury have now opened the lovely Daisy Cafe at 98 Fore Street. I and my camera were invited along to the pre-opening night where it really became clear how much Faye and Matthew value the importance of the local community as so many of the 'great and good' of the area were in attendance. I've popped in a few times since and it always seems busy. It's great to think that there is place to be able to meet up and have a chat with friends now, whilst at the same time helping out a new, local business. I can highly recommend it to anyone living in the area. The breakfasts are awesome!
Whilst at the big opening, I got chatting to Kate from ParkLife, a great local organisation which aims to act as a 'community glue' with an aim to build a community cafe in the park. From Spring to Autumn, they run a monthly event to bring people together and the first event of the year was Mother's Day. I therefore agreed to go along with my camera and capture the event. The team had put in so much effort and there were activities for the kids, drinks and amazing cakes and goodie bags for all the mums. The morning was topped off by spring sunshine and music from a bygone era. The main event was the planting of a new sapling oak tree. This was donated by the University in celebration of the Queen's 90th birthday and was planted next to the old oak that's stood since 1911, itself planted to celebrate King George V's coronation. It's fascinating to think what that old oak has seen over the last century. What changes will the new one see in the next 100 years? Cllr Olwen Foggin cut the ribbon on the new tree and spoke of how she remembered the original oak from her childhood. Hopefully the new one will become the background to the next generations of the local community.