WGC100 celebrates planting ‘Gateway Gardens’ but thieves spoil the day

PUBLISHED: 14:51 02 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:51 02 September 2020

Designer and planter Gary Primrose proudly shows off the fully planted garden at Waterside. Picture: Supplied

Designer and planter Gary Primrose proudly shows off the fully planted garden at Waterside. Picture: Supplied

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This month saw the completion of Sherrards resident and ex-headteacher Alan Willison’s dream of improving the welcome to WGC.

Everything gone bar the Dogwood at the back. Picture: SuppliedEverything gone bar the Dogwood at the back. Picture: Supplied

You may have noticed the colourful new welcome signs at each of the entry points to the town, and each of these now has a ‘Gateway Garden’.

However, some of the sites have already been subjected to theft, as with one of the more remote sites has been stripped almost bare, and two other sites suffering thefts of the larger plants.

Both the signs and the gardens are part of the WGC100 centenary celebrations, organised entirely by volunteers from the town, and funded from the Highways Locality budgets of our four county councillors.

The project has been a few years in the making.

The site of the grand unveiling with the Mayor and the team on a rainy day last autumn. Picture: SuppliedThe site of the grand unveiling with the Mayor and the team on a rainy day last autumn. Picture: Supplied

Alan’s idea to improve the dilapidated signs at the entrance to the town was shared by Councillor Malcolm Cowan and then picked up by the centenary planners.

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The small group was originally led by Dennis Lewis MBE, and latterly by Cllr Nigel Quinton – who has helped coordinate with the county council’s highways department.

Gary Primrose joined the team last year and designd the gardens. Then, with Alan, he organised volunteers to help plant them. COVID-19 put a stop to the plan for a while, but Gary was able to complete the final planting in the past month, with help from the rest of his household.

This spring when the purple bulbs had grown – but you can see the right hand side of the “W” has been nicked. Picture: SuppliedThis spring when the purple bulbs had grown – but you can see the right hand side of the “W” has been nicked. Picture: Supplied

Sherrards Wood Wardens helped out by using their mobile water bowser to water the gardens.

Team leader Cllr Nigel Quinton said: “It is sickening when a community effort such as this is targeted so blatantly by criminals most probably living in our midst. The latest theft took place within an hour of Gary and his family completing the planting.

“We really cannot thank Gary and his family enough for the effort they have put in the last few weeks. Between Gary, Alan and the wood wardens, as well as the other volunteers involved, this has been a tremendously positive project.

“We should also thank the county council staff for their efforts, and the support of Anne MacDonald, landscape officer at the borough council for her enthusiastic support and advice.”

After the initial planting – you can see the “W” formed by the lighter Euonymus bushes, which will be more obvious still in a couple of years’ time. Picture: SuppliedAfter the initial planting – you can see the “W” formed by the lighter Euonymus bushes, which will be more obvious still in a couple of years’ time. Picture: Supplied

Nigel added: If you would like to help volunteer contact Alan at skysunlimited@gmail.com.


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