Wiltshire Publications

Rolling out the barrows for town’s historic gardens

VICTORIA Garden in Westbury is set to be the venue for a garden fete with a difference, when volunteers roll out their barrows of bargains.

The historic community garden situated off All Saints churchyard, is managed and tended by the Friends of Victoria Garden (FVG). Now a summer event is planned to encourage local residents to join in the fun and help raise cash for plants and equipment.

The garden fete and barrow market, which will be held on Saturday 16th June, promises all the favourites of teas and home-made cakes, music, stalls, face painting and sideshows – but with a difference. The usual table top sale has been given a gardening flavour by swopping tables with wheelbarrows piled high with bargains from books and clothes to bric-a-brac.

FVG fundraiser Margaret Saunders, “We thought the barrows would add a bit of extra fun to the event, though there will be tables available for those who prefer; and obviously a wheelbarrow  will be handy for bringing your goods down to the garden as there is no vehicle access.

“We are hoping as many people as possible will enjoy the opportunity to visit this beautiful garden and help us raise much needed funds.”

Victoria Garden has an interesting and chequered history. It was formerly the millpond for the adjacent town mill, which burned down in 1861. No longer needed to power the mill machinery,  it was drained and landscaped thanks to town benefactor, William Laverton, who bequeathed  it to the people of Westbury to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1897.

Since then, it has been tennis courts, a private garden, allotments and  eventually a derelict site, finally restored in the 1990s as a public garden. It now belongs to Wiltshire Council but is in the care of the FVG community group, who hold regular working parties to keep the garden looking beautiful. The garden is open to the public during the day in the summer and provides a perfect place for a peaceful retreat.

The Victoria Garden fete and barrow market will be held on Saturday 16th June  from 2-4pm. If you are interested in renting a table top or bringing a barrow for £5, please contact Helen Franks at helenfranks21@gmail .com