Monument back to former glory

Unveiling of the restored Lord Ashton monument, Ashton Gardens, St Annes.
Unveiling of the restored Lord Ashton monument, Ashton Gardens, St Annes.

THE historic memorial commemorating the man who founded St Annes’ Ashton Gardens has been unveiled.

Thousands of pounds has been spent on returning the Lord Ashton monument, in the park’s Rose Garden, to its former glory.

Fred Moor, chairman of the Supporters of Ashton Gardens (SOAG), said: “Altogether, Lord Ashton gave today’s equivalent of £5 million to acquire and extend the Gardens for the people, and on their behalf SOAG has restored his monument, which we hope will last for another 100 years.”

SOAG’s members donated £12,000 toward the work, while a lottery grant of £50,000 was also used to fund the scheme.

The monument has been completely restored, with Kirkham architects Croft Goode overseeing the project, and was unveiled at a civic ceremony carried out by Fylde Mayor Coun Howard Henshaw.

Coun Susan Fazackerley, Fylde’s cabinet member for Tourism and Leisure, thanked SOAG for their hard work and Rev Tony Hodgson blessed the restored monument before white doves were set off in celebration.

Mr Moor, in thanking the public and members of SOAG for their support, highlighted the help of the Lytham St Annes Civic Society and the Lancashire Gardens Trust who had both supported the project.

He especially mentioned Richard Fowler of the Heritage Lottery Fund, who attended the ceremony and also spoke of SAOG’s gratitude to Fylde Council officers, especially Philip Morley, for all their practical help in getting the project completed.

Prior to the civic ceremony, SOAG’s committee raised a glass in celebration of the completion of the work.

As part of the project, the Supporters of Ashton Gardens are also planning to release a DVD outlining the history of the town centre Gardens, as well as going live with a website.