New garden at Astley Park to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War

The garden is currently under construction.
The garden is currently under construction.
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A new garden is being constructed in Chorley’s Astley Park to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War.

The Garden of Reflection, which will provide a covered performance area in Astley Park’s Walled Garden, is now starting to take shape.

Diggers on site.

Diggers on site.

The garden is being created by gold-medal winning designer and Chorley resident John Everiss and would be a major new attraction at the award-winning Chorley Flower Show later this month.

Designer John Everiss said: “It’s been an honour to get involved in this project after the success of The Evaders’ Garden and I hope people hold it in the same regard.

“We’ve done a lot of work to ensure it ties in with the commemoration of the First World War and with elements of the garden taken from where many of the Chorley Pals lost their life it adds extra poignancy.”

John added: “The timber frames that will provide a structure for the stage are already in place and we’re making good progress.”

He previously told the Guardian that there will also be a time-lapse film of the garden as it is built for the public to gain an insight into how the garden’s transformation took place.

Chorley Coun Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “We have been looking to create an outdoor performance area and this ties in really well with the flower show.

“The timing means it is fitting for the design to be based around reflection given it is 100 years since the end of the First World War.

“It’s already starting to take shape and it will be a great addition to the park and will be one of the major attractions at this year’s flower show and people are already buying tickets to come and see it when it opens.

“The new garden will be a place where people can sit and reflect.

“But it also means we can bring more entertainment to the park and make even better use of the Walled Garden, which looks stunning.”

The £100,000 project will be funded by the Armed Forces Covenant fund meaning it will also be a lasting tribute to all those who sacrificed their lives during the conflict.

The garden has a covered stage area with seating and a stone carving of a soldier reflecting as he takes a break from his duties.

The features will be based around material and planting from The Somme where many Chorley residents lost their life in battle.

Meanwhile the Chorley Pals Memorial Trust will be playing a major part in the town’s commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice which ended the fighting in the First World War.

The Trust’s project, called Chorley 100, will include a wide range of activities such as talks, concerts and exhibitions.

It will also see the redevelopment of the Chorley Pals Memorial site on Union Street, unveiled in February 2010.

The statue which is to be illuminated will be complete by the end of October, in time for Remembrance Sunday.

The Garden of Reflection will be officially opened at Chorley Flower Show on Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29.

Discounted advance tickets are on sale now at chorleyflowershow.com.