Chelsea Flower Fringe to Hastings
A festival of flowers, gardens and gardening will spread its roots to Hastings next month (May), when the Chelsea Fringe arrives in town with a day in Alexandra Park and a talk from author, Travis Elborough. Report by Lynda Foy, photos by Colin Foy.
The Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group (APGG) will stage its first mini Chelsea in the Park on Sunday, 28 May, as part of the sixth international Fringe which runs from May 20 to June 4.
Local nurseries and community groups will take stalls or tables in two marquees near the Eat@the Park Cafe from 11am to 4.30pm. Entry to the marquees will be free.
Linda Pearson, chairman of the APGG which is campaigning to restore the park’s 1930s greenhouse for community and educational use, said: “Experience a different view of Hastings and explore Alexandra Park for this mini Chelsea Fringe event.
“We want to make the community aware of what is going on and to help us with fund-raising for this important project.”
Stalls hosted by volunteers from APGG, Friends of Alexandra Park and the Bohemia Walled Garden Association, Hastings, will be selling plants, showcasing their projects, seeking volunteers and telling visitors about their plans.
Staff from Rotherview Nursery from Three Oaks, near Hastings, and Simply Gardens from George Street, Hastings Old Town, will also host stalls. Tempting cream teas will be served in the cafe and there are plans for a local band to perform on the nearby bandstand.
Join park ranger Nick Hennessy by the bandstand at 2pm for a talk and walk about the park’s history and how it has developed.
Donated plants will be on sale in the greenhouse from 11am to 4pm to swell the restoration campaign’s funding appeal.
Junior gardeners can ride on the park’s miniature railway, sited near the greenhouse. Dog walkers welcome throughout the park.
The mini Fringe begins on Friday, 26 May, with a talk by freelance writer and author, Travis Elborough, about his book, A Walk in The Park: The Life and Times of a People’s Institution, which looks at the history of Britain’s parks and how they have evolved. (See details below)
Travis feels that campaigners working to restore the 1930s greenhouse in Alexandra Park in Hastings are returning a valuable resource to community use.
“Parks often replaced areas of common land,” says Travis, “so this is bringing some of that community use back, particularly at a time of financial cuts.” He added: “If people feel that the parks belong to them and they can grow their own vegetables and flowers there, then that’s all for the good.”
This event on 26 May, which starts at 7pm at The Beacon Arts Hub, 67-68 St Mary’s Terrace, Hastings, will begin with a brief talk by APGG chairman, Linda Pearson. A hard back copy of Travis’ book will be raffled, along with plants – and Travis will sign and sell paperback copies of his book priced at £10.99.
Log on here and join the town’s Chelsea Fringe and register your group or business. The Alexandra Park venue is already full, but new entries can hold their own event anytime during the Chelsea Fringe from May 20 to June 4.
Follow updates to Alexandra Park Mini Fringe on the APPG websiteor on Twitter and Facebook.
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