Volunteers to undertake sponsored ‘slogathon’ in bid to repair and restore Winterstoke Gardens

Volunteers want to see the Sun Palace restored Photo Brian Whitehead

Volunteers will be undertaking a ‘slogathon’ at the Winterstoke Gardens in Ramsgate this weekend.

The event, on Saturday (July 6), aims to raise £3,000 so the volunteers can repair the vandalised seats at the Chine and the Sun Palace, paint the Sun Palace with anti – graffiti paint -in consultation with English Heritage advisors- buy shrubs and perennials for all year round colour and varnish the benches at the top of the gardens.

There will also be a raffle during the day, with prizes supplied by Thanet businesses.

Over the past four years, the numbers of volunteers have grown from one or two to a regular 14-20 helpers regularly clearing and planting at the site.

Photo Brian Whitehead

The Grade II listed Winterstoke Gardens, Sun Palace and Chine, were built in the early 1920s and had been planted with scented plants for  visually impaired soldiers returning from the First World War.

The Winterstoke area was passed to the district council nearly 50 years ago and, until volunteers began taking care of the area four years ago, it had become neglected and overgrown.

Volunteer Clara Gibson said: “With our expanding  numbers of happy volunteers the area has seen marked transformation. We have donated thousands of hours of our own time, collected thousands of sacks of waste, and planted many hundreds of plants grown from seed, by some of our own green fingered volunteers.  Also, we have benefitted from cash and plant donations from appreciative passers-by, Waitrose and our town council.

“Our long term vision is to have the Sun Palace and the fountains above, fully restored.  We hope, then, that the Sun Palace can be blessed for civil weddings, licensed for live performances of music and theatre.  We would love the fountains restored.  We would like the lawn in front of the Sun Palace to be beautifully maintained so that games of croquet can be played.

Photo Brian Whitehead

“Thousands of people walk through the area each year.  As the gardens become obviously better tended, people notice and are delighted, but they lament the terrible waste and degradation of the formal Sun Palace and the fountains.  We would like the Winterstoke Gardens, Sun Palace and Chine to be recognised as the iconic landmark that it is and as a venue that can generate resources that can help improve employment and a sense of value for local people of all ages.”

A crowdfunder page for the sponsored slogathon has already raised £2,149.

To donate click here