Wanted: South Cliff Gardens heritage information

Thursday, 30 November 2017

As part of the project to improve and restore Scarborough’s South Cliff Gardens, the Friends of South Cliff Gardens community group is inviting members of the public to support the project by sharing memories of the gardens or by submitting old photos, postcards, general pictures, stories and comments to help them build an archive of information.

A series of heritage gathering events where people can share their memories and historic material will be held at Scarborough Library on 2, 9 and 16 December between 10.00am and 1.00pm. All are welcome to add to the work already started by the friends group on unlocking the hidden secrets of the gardens.

Victoria Thompson, Scarborough Borough Council HLF Project Officer for the bid said:

"For those of us helping to restore the gardens, it is important that the project is driven by the community. This is your garden, it is Scarborough’s garden, and we cannot wait to hear all your stories and find out about the hidden secrets and social heritage. Without your valuable contributions we might not get a true understanding of the South Cliff and miss a really important part of its identity. As a passionate artist I’d also love to see any artwork that has been done of the South Cliff Gardens so if anyone has any paintings, drawings or photos please bring them along to the heritage events. I’m very much looking forward to seeing you there."

The South Cliff Gardens, which are listed in the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England, are held dear to the hearts of Scarborough’s residents and generations of visitors, but are in a fragile condition and in desperate need of improvement. Following a successful stage one bid and an award of £334,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund earlier this year, plans to restore and improve the gardens are underway.

The plans, being developed in partnership by the Friends of South Cliff Gardens, Scarborough Borough Council and specialist consultants Southern Green, will include comprehensive repair and restoration of the historic gardens, as well as exciting new features to attract more people to the area. There will also be changes to the way the park is managed, a programme of training and community involvement and a range of events and activities.

The application for a full grant will be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund in August 2018 and if successful, the £6.5million renovation works will start in 2019.

Simon Green, Director of Southern Green, said:

"Scarborough is one of the country's classic seaside resorts and has been much loved by generations of families over centuries. South Cliff Gardens, located on the South Bay, is one a series of parks and gardens that contribute to making Scarborough such a green and enchanting place to live and visit. Notable designers involved with the layout of the gardens include Sir Joseph Paxton, designer of Crystal Palace and Head Gardener at Chatsworth, as well as his apprentice Edward Milner who became famous in his own right with credits such as Bodnant Garden and Peoples Park Halifax to his name.

"The Friends of South Cliff Gardens have been responsible for some great projects in and around the gardens in recent years, but the scale of the park means that a much bigger level of investment is needed to restore deteriorating paths and shelters and to bring overgrown areas back into pristine condition. The Heritage Lottery Fund project will ensure that the gardens can be restored and will promote new interest in the gardens with an exciting range of activities. Southern Green is delighted to have been commissioned by Scarborough Borough Council to lead the restoration of the project and the team very much looks forward to working with the council, the Friends group and the local community in developing the proposals over the next few months."