Bebra Gardens 80th celebrations

Pictured from left at the Bebra Gardens anniversary celebration are Andrew Willoughby, Christine Willoughby, Harrogate Borough Council Parks Development Officer Kate Dawson, Sue Wilburn and Penny Carpenter. (110702M3b)

Published on Friday 8 July 2011 09:11

CELEBRATIONS were held in Knaresborough earlier this month to mark the 80th anniversary since the opening of the Moat Gardens.

On July 2, 1931, crowds had gathered to watch the opening of Moat Gardens with its innovative new paddling pool. Last weekend, the Friends of Bebra Gardens marked the special event and 80 years with an anniversary tea party. Volunteers had baked cakes and all afternoon, there was a steady stream of people who enjoyed the homemade refreshments and viewed the old photographs on display.

“It was a wonderful summer’s day with sunshine but plenty of shade under the trees,” said Coun Andrew Willoughby, who is Chairman of the Friends and also this year’s Mayor of Knaresborough. “Flowers were in bloom and the gardens looked good thanks to a lot of replanting carried out by volunteers over the past five years.

“The paddling pool was busy with children enjoying the water in the sunshine, unlike 1931 when photographs show children in the pool on a dull day wearing coats and hats.”

The Friends thanked Kate Dawson from Harrogate Borough Council Parks department who loaned equipment and called in on Saturday to enjoy the event. A special birthday cake with candles was donated by Coun Anne Jones and everyone joined in a lively rendition of Happy Birthday led by Elaine Grintner from Art in the Mill.

In 1971, the name of the gardens was changed to Bebra Gardens following Knaresborough’s Town Twinning with the town of Bebra in Germany. Town Twinning continues with various visits to both countries each year, and as Mayor this year, Coun Willoughby will be visiting Bebra in the autumn.

The Friends of Bebra Gardens hold regular meetings and have a team of volunteers working in the gardens every Monday morning. New members are most welcome to join them.