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Pictured: Lion’s Club president Brett McLean and Hastings Mayor Cllr Nigel Sinden among the visitors to the greenhouse last weekend

Heritage weekend raises money for Alexandra Park Greenhouse

As part of the Heritage Open Days event, the Alexandra Park greenhouse opened its doors last weekend to a host of visitors in a continued bid to help raise money for the ‘Lets Raise the Roof’ campaign. The event helped contribute £900 to the campaign’s £10,000 target which of writing stands at £9,309. Donations are still welcome as the campaign has been extended until 30 September. The Alexandra Greenhouse Group recently issued the following release giving thanks to those who pledged their support over the weekend. Words supplied by Lynda Foy, pictures by Colin Foy.

A steady stream of visitors arrived at the historic greenhouse in Hastings last weekend (Sept 12-13) when volunteers opened its doors for Heritage Open Days.

The two-day event raised £900 towards the Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group’s Let’s Raise the Roof Crowfunding appeal to help put a permanent roof on the 1930’s structure which is used for growing and selling plants, and community and educational projects.

Among the visitors was the Mayor of Hastings, Cllr Nigel Sinden, who praised the work of volunteers to turn the greenhouse, once dilapidated, into a vibrant hub for the town. He said: “I think it is a jewel within the park, in our town and within the county.”

Cllr Sinden, who made unofficial visits to the site on both days, added:  “With my younger two brothers and four sisters, we visited the park from the 1960s, often attending the petting zoo where we could see the greenhouse in the background. I would like to see the greenhouse fully restored. It’s a wonderful place to visit and the plans for its future show its value to the town and the community. “

Pictured: Cllr Margi O’ Callaghan

He was accompanied by Cllr Margi O’Callaghan, who is the borough council’s Heritage Champion. She said: “I think the greenhouse is very important; we need outdoor spaces and also an educational setting for children. It brings the community together.”

Cllr O’Callaghan hoped the greenhouse could be registered by the council as a community asset to recognise its importance in the borough.

Saturday’s open day included a talk by Lewes-based fruit expert Peter May about the history, care and grafting techniques for Sussex apples. Mr May, who brought apples to the greenhouse for visitors to see, works at the Brighton Permatrust Trust at Stanmer Park, where he has propagated the 28 species native to the county.

Cacti and succulents specialist Alan Bromley, from Laughton, near Lewes, sold some of his plants to help greenhouse funds and showed others for the public to admire.

Visitors also bought apples and there were hand-made crafts, cotton bags and artwork for sale.

The Crowdfunding appeal, which was due to end on September 16, has been extended until midnight on Wednesday, September 30.  It has raised almost £8,000 towards its £10,000 target and supporters are asked to donate at crowdfunder.co.uk/lets-raise-the-roof-and-grow-together. A generous supporter has already promised the lion’s share of the funds to restore the teak-framed building and install reinforced glass.

Pictured: Fruit expert Peter May, Greenhouse group chairman Linda Pearson and cacti/succulents specialist Alan Bromley.

Pledges have included £500 from Hastings Lions’ Club, with its president, Brett McLean, visiting Saturday’s open day.

Mr McLean said: “Horticulture plays such an important role in therapy, education and in living. It’s one of those things that we often take for granted. There are so many varieties of plants here under one roof and I don’t think people really appreciate plants and horticulture in general.”

Greenhouse group chairman Linda Pearson said: “Help us raise £10,000 or more and make our greenhouse part of a walk in the park for generations to come.”

 

Posted 12:11 Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020 In: Grassroots

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