Release Date: 08/06/2012
A Royal guest will officially open Twickenham Riverside as part of a weekend of special events to mark the eagerly anticipated unveiling of the Diamond Jubilee Gardens.
Following over 30 years of neglect, a six month intensive on-site activity has transformed the former Twickenham Lido pool site into a stunning public garden overlooking the Thames. Twickenham’s Diamond Jubilee Gardens will be officially opened on 23 June by Princess Alexandra who will be shown around the garden by Lord True, Leader of Richmond Council. Around 200 guests will attend the 1930s themed ceremony to toast the landmark regeneration achievement.
The site will then be opened up to the public on 24 June through an action packed day of free activities. A number of bands will perform live on the main stage throughout the day with family friendly activities to include a 1930’s traditional showground with a coconut shy, ball-in-the-bucket and Hoopla. There will also be face painting, balloon modelling and street performers. Gates open at 11am and the event will close at 6pm.
Completion of the work, cements the Council promise to open the Twickenham Riverside for all people to enjoy and make 2012 a year for celebration. The site has been sympathetically designed to reflect its history and indeed the original diving board has been retained and incorporated into the landscape of the gardens. The lawn has also been sectioned into ‘swimming pool lanes’ and is located exactly where the swimming pool was positioned.
The Sunshine Café has been extended to include a new patio seating area next to the lawn and the area next to the where the old changing rooms were has been paved to create a public performance square.
Cllr Virginia Morris, Richmond Council’s Strategic Cabinet Member for Environment, said:
“I’m absolutely delighted the work has been completed, it looks fantastic and I’m proud of the achievement of everybody involved in the project to transform the area. Our contractors have worked really hard to ensure the programme has been delivered on time. They have done a brilliant job and I’m sure everyone who visits the garden will be really impressed by how it looks.
“It’s great to see that after so many years of neglect, the site has been completely revamped. It’s a credit to the local people who have battled for years to have this area re-opened and brought back into public use. The Diamond Jubilee Gardens are a testament to what can be done by listening to and working with residents.”
Numerous volunteers initially helped clear 30 years worth of debris and growth from the site before the contractors could begin work. Volunteers came from a number of different organisations including the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, Twickenham Riverside Terrace Group and the Friends of Twickenham Riverside.