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Volunteers praised for restoration of new community garden

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THE ‘Melksham Bloomers’ have unveiled ‘The Friends Garden’ – a new community space that can be enjoyed and used for ‘quiet contemplation’.

‘The Friends Garden’ is located behind the former spiritualist church on King Street and will be open to the public from Saturday 6th July, the day after South West in Bloom judges visit the town. The Melksham Bloom team are hoping that the new community space will help sway the judges to award the town ‘gold’ for the third year in a row.

Work began on the garden in January, with trustees of the spiritualist church paying for the space to be cleared of six-foot high brambles. The area was ‘beautified’ by a team of volunteers from the South West in Bloom – Melksham team and foundation students from Lackham College.

‘The Friends Garden’ was officially opened last month by mayor of Melksham, cllr Jon Hubbard, who praised the team of volunteers responsible for the transformation.

Chair of the Melksham Bloom team, Kathy Iles, said, “I can’t put into words how proud I am to be part of such a wonderful team of volunteers. A couple of years ago this garden, at the back of the old Quaker/spiritualist church in the town centre, was lost and was completely thick with six-feet high brambles.

“But, with a few financial backers and an awful lot of volunteer hours, it has been sympathetically transformed into a beautiful memorial garden, suited to quiet contemplation.

“It is a burial ground of the town’s Quakers, so I really hope, when it’s open to the public from July that people do treat it with the greatest respect. Thank you to everyone involved.”

In the garden is a tree planted in memory of Bowerhill teenager, Zoe Chapman, who died last November.

Kathy said, “We are happy to have more trees planted in memory of a loved one, but we are limited to space. I really hope that this can be a place of peace, calm, and reflection.”

The garden will be open daily from Saturday 6th July, dependant on volunteers being available to unlock the gate.

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