VERNON SQUARE CELEBRATES 25 YEARS MAY 17th 2014
On a beautiful day in May, members of Vernon Square Preservation Society gathered to celebrate the 25 years since David Bellamy first inaugurated the Society aimed at preserving this tranquil Regency Garden in the middle of Ryde – the only example on the Isle of Wight. Distinguished guests, members, their families and local school children all enjoyed the food, wine and music which accompanied the central events to mark the day.
The Rev. Neil Birkett (Chairman) welcomed The Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Major General Martin White and Mrs Fiona White and other guests who included Mr Andrew Turner MP, The local Mayor and Councillors, Members of the Vernon Square Preservation Society and others associated with the Square.
Speeches were made and the Magnolia Tree planted in celebration of the start of the new Restoration Programme, following on from those early beginnings of 25 years ago.
Plans for the garden are explained to Major General Martin White and Mrs Fiona White by members of the committee – Michael Fitt OBE (Garden Advisor) and Claire Kay (Treasurer) before they
perform the difficult task of selecting their favourite garden plate from those made by the
children of the local primary school.
The Garden was admired by all. The history starts from around 1830 to the present day and the Square has gone through many changes. After being threatened with becoming a car park in the mid-1980s a group of people got together to stop this happening. In 1989 the garden was restored and re-opened by David Bellamy. We are now 25 years on and over the past 7 years a small team has worked hard in dealing with pernicious weed growth, removing Leylandii conifers, which were turning into forest trees, and clearing up generally – work which continues.
WE ARE LOOKING FOR NEW ‘FRIENDS’ TO COME AND JOIN US TO CONTINUE WITH THE RESTORATION WORK AND HAVE FUN………. As well as the general maintenance, we are working towards a Heritage Lottery Bid for renovations to the garden infrastructure and the inst