Appeal to find families of those remembered by memorial benches in Scarborough's South Cliff Gardens

Leaders of the major multi-million project to rejuvenate Scarborough’s Victorian South Cliff Gardens have launched a campaign to trace families, many from all parts of Yorkshire and the North of England,  who have given more than 300 memorial seats.

By News Reporter
Thursday, 21st May 2020, 12:30 pm

For years, people who have had holidays at the resort have had seats given in their memory with often moving inscriptions on plaques, recording happy times in the town’s gardens overlooking the South Bay, harbour and castle.

Now, as part of the scheme to regenerate the area, funded by the National Heritage Lottery, the Friends of South Cliff Gardens are seeking to find the families of those remembered by the seats.

Project officer Victoria Thompson said: “Many of the seats commemorate the many people and their families who over the years have fallen in love with Scarborough.

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People using some of the memorial benches in the gardens. Picture: JPI Media/ Tony Johnson

“People from across the world have taken out leases for the benches to lay down their legacies with the stunning setting of the gardens.

“However, over the years information about the leases has regrettably been lost.”

Now the Friends are appealing for people to come forward and claim their benches, she said.

“We would like to unlock these hidden personal connections and reinstate the seats within the gardens.”

South Cliff Gardens. Picture: JPI Media/ Tony Johnson

The gardens include the Italian Rose Garden, the Shuttleworth and Prince of Wales Gardens and St Martin’s Square, several of which date back to 1889 when the gardens were created over a 40-year period and stretch from the Spa to Holbeck – scene of the collapse of the Holbeck Hall Hotel in 1993.

Scarborough Council and the Friends Group have been awarded a grant from the National Lottery to renovate the gardens, which will include refurbishing the memorial seats.

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