The new cafe kiosk and toilets at Ellington Park in Ramsgateare now open.
Staff Tara and Amy, along with volunteers, are manning the new venue which is open Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 4pm. At the end of this month the indoor cafe will be opened.
The newly refurbished bandstand in the park will also be hosting the Ukelele17 players tomorrow (August 8) at 2pm.
The café, toilets and bandstand refurbishment are part of a £1.8million project launched by Thanet council and Friends of Ellington Park who worked together to secure money from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, for the regeneration of the site, under the Parks for People Programme.
The contract to build a new cafe, restored terrace, new playground and landscaping in Ellington Park was awarded to BJF Group last October. Work started the same month for the creation of the new community café and toilets, landscape works to conserve the terrace and bring back the Cheal’s landscape scheme and new signage, alongside critical repairs to the pathways.
The works were alongside the specialist restoration of the MacFarlane bandstand which started in June 2020 and was carried out by specialists Lost Art Limited.
The bandstand in Ellington Park is an original Victorian bandstand built in the early 1900s. Research has shown it is a MacFarlane Company pattern 279. The MacFarlane Company was a notable producer of decorative ironwork, including bandstands, during the Late Victorian Period. It operated from Saracen Works foundry in Glasgow and sent its products around the world.
The cafe is run and managed as an environmentally friendly, healthy eating, not–for–profit community enterprise by the Friends of Ellington Park. All profits will be re-invested in the park, employing a community gardener and continuing activities and events after the funding period is finished.
As part of the restoration project a team began work on compiling a digital archive charting Ellington’s historical roots.
Eight archive volunteers reviewed the community contributions to find items of interest that fit the collection criteria.
Ellington Park is 128 years old with the late Victorian and Edwardian landscaped area across 13 acres.
The park’s history began in 1892 when the Ellington Estate passed into the ownership of the Ramsgate Corporation, now Thanet District Council, as a place of public recreation. The park was designed by the Victorian landscape company Joseph Cheal and Son, known for their work at Hever Castle and Kirkstall Abbey and laid out in 1893.
Its key features remain today including the pathways, perimeter gates, railings, bandstand and the Pulhamesque rockery.