Fun in the sun at Chesterfield’s ‘great get together’

Monkey Park organised a 'great get together' in Brampton to remember Jo Cox MP.
Monkey Park organised a 'great get together' in Brampton to remember Jo Cox MP.

The people of Brampton came together on Sunday to celebrate one of the most important things they have - each other.

One year on from the tragic murder of Yorkshire MP, Jo Cox, a countrywide series of ‘get togethers’ was organised to celebrate her legacy.

The Great Get Together at the Chester Street Recreation Ground in Brampton.

The Great Get Together at the Chester Street Recreation Ground in Brampton.

Brampton social enterprise Monkey Park staged one such event - which took place today in the park opposite its Chester Street base.

Co-founder, Simon Redding, said: “There has been a thing happening for a number of years called ‘the big lunch’.

“That was set up to encourage people to get together in their communities and just have a picnic.

“This year it is much, much bigger - its being called the ‘great get together’ - and is being run in memory of Jo Cox MP.

It’s just nice to see the everybody in the community coming together using the park.

Jackki Wachlarz

“It is focussed particularly around breaking down dividing lines in communities - bringing people together who are not normally talking to each other.”

Simon said people had enjoyed a wide range of activities throughout the day - including folk and chamber music, dressing up, crafts, face-painting and chocolate decoration.

For most of the day residents stretched out in the shade - reading books, eating and drinking - with only a few braving the glare of the sun for a relaxed game of football.

One, Jackki Wachlarz, 57, from Newbold, said: “It’s just nice to see the everybody in the community coming together using the park.

Residents relax in the shade.

Residents relax in the shade.

“And the children out playing in the fresh air and the sun.”

As well as enjoying the event, the community also helped stage it, with a local ‘crochet and natter group’ producing the bunting that adorned the park’s railings.

This bunting - which contained 65 individually crocheted panels - took the three woman team of Jean Lee, Megan Cook and Kath Dickinson almost four months to create.

And also there were cosplay-enthusiasts Robert and Natasha Johnson, both 26, from Boythorpe.

Robert Johnson, 26, came dressed as Batman.

Robert Johnson, 26, came dressed as Batman.

The couple, dressed somewhat incongruously as Batman and the Little Mermaid, said they were trying to get a local cosplay ‘team’ set up to raise funds for Ashgate Hospice.

“I think it’s been a great success,” said Simon Redding.

“We have seen all sort of different ages, types, and creeds coming together and just having a great time with their community.”

Monkey Park is a social enterprise, community hub, cafe and bike repair centre based on Chester Street in Brampton.

Fore information on how to get involved, visit www.monkeypark.org.uk.

Natasha Johnson, 26, as Ariel from the Little Mermaid.

Natasha Johnson, 26, as Ariel from the Little Mermaid.