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Hastings Round Table vice-chairman Rob Lee presents a cheque for £5,000 to Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group treasurer Ann Hodkinson.

Round Table donation boosts greenhouse restoration project

The project to restore Alexandra Park greenhouse has been given a boost by a generous donation from Hastings Round Table. Story by Lynda Foy, photos by Colin Foy.

Hastings Round Table members have donated £5,000 to the Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group for a scheme to put concrete floor tiles in the 1930’s structure. The temporary flooring in the greenhouse off St Helens Road will be removed and, with the help of a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery, it will be replaced to make the surface safer for volunteers and visitors.

Round Table chairman Paul Wilson said the money was raised by the Hastings Beer and Music Festival, which is organised by his members. “The profits go to good causes,” he said. “We look at all the requests we receive to see how many causes will benefit. This satisfies the community criteria that we have.”

Paul described the project, which aims to turn the greenhouse into a centre for nurturing and selling plants, talks, and courses to encourage people to grow garden plants and food, as “magical.”

“I have never been here before; it is lovely to come and see it. We will be able to see the work both before and after. We have a number of young people among us and it will be lovely to see our children come and use this space.”

Members of the greenhouse group brief Rob Lee on the restoration project.


Greenhouse group chairman Linda Pearson said: “This is a really important local donation. We all feel really delighted that the Round Table has decided to support this restoration project.”

Self-employed joiner Jason Wright, from Sedlescombe, is responsible for renovating the greenhouse’s teak frame. He is cleaning and restoring most of the original wood, with any replacement beams made of sepele, a sustainable hardwood.

Linda said reinforced glass, supplied by Croft Glass, will be fitted to the roof and side panels, with zinc and insulation boards to be installed on the roof of the learning area to reduce heat. The group plans to install roof solar panels in future.

The group, a registered charity, launched Let’s Raise the Roof, a fund-raising campaign, in 2020 to fully restore the greenhouse. Thanks to a generous private donation, the campaign was boosted so that work to renovate the structure could forge ahead.

On Sunday 8 May, from 1pm to 4pm, volunteers will be selling plants and accepting plant donations when they run a stall near the bandstand to coincide with the crowning of the town’s May Queen in the park.

Donations can be made via the group’s website.


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Posted 11:49 Sunday, Apr 17, 2022 In: Grassroots,HOT Topics

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