Monday 2 December 2013

Friends of Ellington Park

Last week after a massive campaign the Friends of Ellington Park (link) won £50K from the People's Millions. This will be for the creation of a wildlife garden.

What they say about themselves:
"Welcome to Ellington Park!

The Friends of Ellington Park are a small committee who look after the park and run events ... if you would like to contribute, please contact us and we'll be happy to welcome you!

Our Chair is Beverley Perkins, the Vice-Chair is Dianne Reilly and Pat Scutt is our Secretary ... other members of the committee are Trevor Shonk and Terry Austin

History of the park:

"The little hamlet of Ellington is centuries old. The Ellington estate and the names of those who have lived there, from Nicholas de Elinton in the 1270s through to the Sprakelings, Garretts, Trowards and finally the Wilkies, have all gone down in local history ~ and brasses and memorial windows to members of these families can be found in St Laurence Church.

The history of the Ellington estate itself, with the notable exception of the dreadful murder of Katherine Sprakeling by her husband Adam in 1652, seems to have been reasonably uneventful until 1866 when Edward Hales Wilkie acquired Ellington House and twelve acres of land from the Trustees of the Garrett family, the rest of the estate being sold off for building. It is at this point that the pleasant Victorian Houses of the area between Ellington Park and Ramsgate start to appear.

In 1891 the last of the Wilkie family to inhabit Ellington House died and in 1892 the estate was sold to Ramsgate Corporation for use as a Public Park. The handing over of the keys to the Corporation was the cause of a celebratory Official Day in what was to become Ellington Park. The area was now a private estate no longer but was to become a place of public recreation for the people of Ramsgate.

In 1893, when the landscaping improvements of the grounds of Ellington Park had been completed on behalf of the Corporation, a further official opening took place. Sadly, Ellington House was demolished when the Park was created, and the fine Doulton fountain which once stood in the Park has gone, as has the pleasant lake and rustic bridge, but much remains to be cherished, conserved, restored and added to ~ the raised terrace and charming bandstand, the model railway track, the bowling green and just the beauty of the greensward and the trees ~all these are features which give enormous pleasure.

Over the years since 1892, countless events have taken place in the Park, the spectacular Pageant in 1934, beauty contests, concerts on the bandstand, Shakespeare performances, flower shows, Empire Day celebrations, fairs, bowls matches and much more. Despite two World Wars and some ups and downs, the Park has continued to hold its own and now, after 120 years after its acquisition, it is in safe and responsible hands since the Friends of Ellington Park was formed in 2010 to watch over it.

With thanks to Catriona Blaker

We wish them all the best for the future and I have fond memories of playing in the park when grandad said go out and play.

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