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Local residents mark the 150th anniversary of Gensing Gardens with ward councillor, Amanda Jobson.

Happy 150th Birthday, Gensing Gardens!

Gensing Gardens was officially opened by the Mayor of Hastings, Mr Thomas Ross, on 3 July 1872. 150 years later, the community celebrated the Gardens’ ‘birthday’ by thinking of ways to make it more community-friendly. Over 30 local residents attended and suggestions including bike pods, a compost scheme and a sheltered structure were discussed.

Artist Emma Harding explained that ATownExploresABook (ATEAB) uses the park every year for outdoor art and the ATEAB Funds team was delighted to receive grants from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Foreshore Trust to run events and workshops for children and families throughout the summer holidays to mark the park’s anniversary and to help grow a group of local residents and people who use and love the space.

‘The Friends of Gensing Gardens’ will liaise with Hastings Borough Council so the community can have a say in how the green space is managed. Local residents have already brought forward ideas including a community composting scheme and bike pods for local residents who live in flats near the park.

Community liaison coordinator for the Gensing Gardens 150 project, Erica Smith, said “The newly formed Friends of Gensing Gardens group are organising a community picnic on Sunday 31 July. Anyone who lives near, or regularly uses, Gensing Gardens is welcome to bring a picnic blanket and some food to share – meet up by the baby apple orchard on the Charles Road side of the park. Come along at any time from 1 to 4pm.”

Gensing Gardens 150 Summer Workshops

A programme of 14 family workshops funded by the Gensing Gardens 150 project runs from Saturday 23 July throughout the summer holidays. Subjects covered include clay modelling, musical instrument making, sound recording, solar power, story telling and willow weaving. Children accompanied by parents or carers are welcome. All sessions except the drop-in willow-weaving and solar sessions are one hour long.

Pre-booking is advised – but some spaces will be available on the day. You can book via our website.

Saturday 23 July
11am: Musical instrument making with Hannah Collisson
Noon: Family clay workshop with Emma Harding
2pm: Sounds of the Gardens – sound recording with Ruby Colley

Sunday 24 July
11am: Interactive story workshop with Mary Dawson
Noon: Family clay workshop with Emma Harding
1pm: Musical instrument making with Hannah Collisson

Wednesday 27 July
11am: Willow weaving with Julie Gurr – a two-hour drop-in
11am: Family clay workshop with Emma Harding
Noon: Musical instrument making with Hannah Collisson

Wednesday 3 August
11am: Interactive story workshop with Mary Dawson
Noon: Sounds of the Gardens – sound recording with Ruby Colley
Noon: Family clay workshop with Emma Harding

Wednesday 17 August
Noon: Musical Instrument making with Hannah Collisson
11am–3pm: Solar power fun with Aran – including retro-games consoles

Sunday 21 August
12 noon–3pm: Family Picnic & Celebration
Bring a picnic blanket & food and meet your neighbours!
Includes 2–3pm: Drop-in clay session with Emma Harding

Gensing Gardens was originally known as Gensing Wood. The biggest oak trees, near the children’s playground, date back to the early days of the park – some might have already been growing on the site before it became a park. There are currently over 150 trees in the Gardens. The Gensing Gardens 150 team are working on a tree map of the park with the Borough Tree Officer, Chris Wilken. The tree map will be launched soon.

For more information, visit the We Love Gensing Gardens Facebook page.

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Posted 21:59 Sunday, Jul 3, 2022 In: One Long Party

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