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Coronation Gardens

Waddington's award winning Coronation Gardens are a well established feature of village life. The work is mainly done by volunteers, thanks to the generosity of villagers giving up their time to maintain the gardens to their current glory.

Waddington's Coronation Garden officially came into existence on 30th April 1953 when the land was conveyed to the Parish Council on condition that they accepted responsibility for its upkeep and maintained it in keeping with its surroundings. The Watsons had bought this land with the Old Hall in 1950 when the house and gardens were in a neglected state.

With a sufficiently large garden around the Hall itself the Watsons found maintenance of the land across the stream something of a problem. The solution was found in offering it to the village in return for its upkeep.

The offer came at an opportune moment as the village were considering some way of celebrating the Queens Coronation and was readily accepted. A garden was created out of a wilderness with a stone bridge replacing a dilapidated old rustic bridge.

The idea of a garden was not new. The Waddingtons, the previous owners of the Old Hall, who had given land as the site for the Cenotaph (1921) had laid out the adjacent land as a garden. They passed though this on their way to church entering by a small gate opposite the main entrance to the Hall. A path led to the wooden bridge and then through the bushes and trees to the far corner to steps up to the churchyard. After the second World War what became known as the Memorial Garden was donated to the village. The sundial place there bears this inscription. "This garden is in remembrance of those brave men of this village who fell in the two world wars"

In August 1952, a committee, made up of members from the Parish Council and representatives of the village, was set up to design the Coronation Garden on the far side of the stream.  In November 1952, Robert Southworth was asked to build the bridge; Bob Hanson and Joe Jackson carried out the work. Their names along with those of two other builders, were placed in an envelope with coronation coins in one of the pillars.

Mrs Rushton of Colthurst drew up a plan for the gardens and Mr Milne-Redhead, landscape gardener of Holden Clough, winner of a number of awards a Southport Flower Show, laid out the beds, lawns, paths and banking on the far side of the stream.

Mr Waddington gave money for gate in memory of his wife, Mr Watson gave four benches and was asked to open the bridge on Saturday 30th May 1953.

With much hard work and enthusiasm, from all involved, in less than a year they succeeded in creating and paying for the gardens by holding numerous community fund raising events.

The Coronation Gardens continue to be admired by all who pass by, thanks to the continuing hard work of volunteers who give their time and take pride in this beautiful village location and have won many awards over the years including the county's  "Best Kept Village Competition" and "Britain in Bloom".

Whilst the majority of the work is carried out voluntarily, larger works and new trees and shrubs do have to be paid for. The village acknowledges with gratitude the debt owed to those who gave the land, those who created the Gardens and those who have cared for them.

While the stream continues to flow through the Gardens may people continue to work there while others enjoy the results of their labour.

Source and content: M Bridge 1996