There was a fantastic family atmosphere when community gardens in St Leonards hosted a Music Festival.
The event enjoyed sunny weather and people relaxed in beautiful surroundings to enjoy music performed by local bands The Cavaliers, Rockin’ Ambassadors, Local Heroes and the Rock Choir.
There were stalls selling local crafts and people enjoyed hot dogs and burgers.
Markwick Gardens is a beautiful old Victorian garden originally built to be enjoyed by the residents surrounding it.
To enable this to continue a small membership fee is charged and kept low by a team of volunteers who work in the gardens and put on fundraising events throughout the year.
The Markwick Garden Association is open to all who wish to enjoy access to these marvellous gardens, a green oasis bounded by Markwick Terrace, Dane Road, Brittany Road and Charles Road in St Leonards. It is not necessary to live locally.
The aim of the Association is return the gardens to their previous Victorian and Edwardian splendour.
This calls for continuous maintenance, most of which is achieved by members. More volunteers are always welcome.
Markwick Gardens were formed primarily for the use and pleasure of the residents of Markwick Terrace, some of which was built in the 1860-70s.
At that time, the land was owned by the Eversfield Trust and all householders had to pay a guinea a year subscription. This had risen to £2.50 in 1976. With the present subscription of £40.
Sheila Kaye Smith, the author and novelist who lived at 9 Dane Road from 1887 to 1924, grew up in the area and used the gardens as a setting for one of her books, “Selina is Older”, which gives a good insight into what the gardens were like at that time.
At the start of the Second World War there were seven gardeners. There were railings surrounding the entire border which were taken for smelting into guns. After the war the gardeners did not return and the gardens fell into disrepair. In the 1960s there was an unsuccessful attempt to have a school built on the site. The gardens are now thankfully part of a conservation area.