Pictures show how Worthing celebrated Denton Gardens centenary with community picnic

Denton Gardens in Worthing was filled with fun for a community picnic celebrating its centenary and International Picnic Day. Worthing mayor Henna Chowdhury unveiled the new centenary stone at the event on Saturday and cut the ribbon to launch the new oak pergola.

By Elaine Hammond
Monday, 20th June 2022, 6:34 pm

Hundreds of people gathered for picnics during the afternoon and Friends Of Denton Gardens, supported by Worthing Borough Council's park rangers, organised a range of giant games alongside circus skills with Poi Passion Circus Arts and a clown joining at Splash Point Mini Golf.

Organiser Annie Waran, co-chair of the Friends, said: "It was so good to see everyone enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of a lovely afternoon, with music and fun, making the work of the Friends of Denton Gardens in preserving the gardens as a peaceful oasis for all, a rewarding endeavour.”

The gardens were gifted to the people of Worthing by Alderman James Gurney Denton in June 1922 and to mark the centenary, the Friends commissioned the commemorative stone and new pergola. Nadine Barber, co-chair, said: “It’s been a real team effort to get to where we are and we can’t thank the rangers, the ward councillors and the volunteers enough for their input, as we look forward to the next 100 years.”

During the official unveiling, the mayor spoke with great affection about her early memories of playing in the gardens as a child. She and her consort Millad Chowdhury then spent the afternoon chatting with visitors.

Louise Corcoran, secretary of the Friends, said: "After a recent period of relative underinvestment in the gardens and following a threat of commercial development to the site, last year members of the local community set up the Friends of Denton Gardens to help protect, restore and improve the Gardens. The group, with strong support from local ward councillors Jim Deen, Rosey Whorlow and Sally Smith, saw off the development threat and all three councillors joined in with the fun and celebrations.

"With the invaluable support of the park rangers, the Friends of Denton Gardens have now established a regular volunteer gardening group and secured funding to improve the planting schemes, as well as rebuilding and replanting the previously rotten pergola and installing the centenary stone."

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