By Heather Norris Nicholson
Amid all the restrictions, distress and uncertainties of the pandemic, the latest update on Huddersfield’s very own Windrush Anniversary Garden is welcome news.
Plans are underway for an opening of the garden on Friday 30th October at 2.00 pm. Numbers attending will be limited and government restrictions will affect how and whether the event will take place but please put this date in your diary as the official launch during Black History Month 2020.
There was an informal gathering on Windrush Day, 22 June 2020, when volunteers were joined by local councillors and others to show support and appreciation. They acknowledged the excellent work to transform this site undertaken by council staff during lockdown.
A short informal survey of opinions during a visit to the Windrush Anniversary Garden during the recent sunshine shows much appreciation for all the activity undertaken by the Landscapes and Environment team at Kirklees Council.
Some of the comments include:
‘Somewhere where we can sit with our own thoughts, watch the world go by and relax in a patch of greenspace just close to town’
‘Nice to look out on!’
‘Much better than what was there before – looks more loved and less neglected.’
‘Want to see the plants and herbs growing up – and may be, some butterflies and birds next year!’
The council team has been hard at work for weeks and visitors will notice the difference when they next go to this charming little garden that flanks the airshaft or ventilation tower at the corner of Water Street and Merton Street in the Springwood neighbourhood.
Seating, including an impressive bench encircling an apple tree, is now in place. Flower beds add colour and planters kindly donated from elsewhere in Kirklees already display varied foliage that adds texture and height.
Local York Hardstone Suppliers, Johnsons Wellfield of Crosland Moor, have kindly donated stepping-stones for younger visitors to enjoy. The company has also generously offered to provide a bespoke name stone for the site.
Plans for planting two palms and some donated bamboo are in the pipeline too. The Caribbean theme will be developed through colourful planting. Plans include growing hardy varieties of plants that have shared connections and cultural significance for people from the Caribbean region and other parts of the world.
Creating this small patch of green space at Springwood is a living tribute to the Caribbean pioneers that came to Huddersfield and contributed to local economic growth and vital public services, including the NHS.
Its creation during the pandemic of 2020 is now a further important reminder of the vital contributions brought by overseas workers past and present.
For a garden that has taken shape under lockdown and involved on-site work observing social distancing and government regulations, this is a real delight.
For more information and how to become involved in the project please contact Denzil on 07894 940444 or Natalie on 07786 651831 (or email at firstname.lastname@example.org).