A year later than planned, and at twice the cost, Wisbech Park bandstand has finally been restored

PUBLISHED: 14:38 02 August 2017

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the renovated bandstand are, from left, Bob Ollier (Fenland District Council’s parks and open spaces manager), Councillor  Peter Murphy (Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment), Maxine Woodhouse (co-ordinator at St Augustine’s Day Care Centre), Mayoress of Wisbech Marie Tierney, Wisbech Mayor Steve Tierney, Linda Cave and Arthur Hunt from St Augustine’s Day Care Centre and Carole Farnworth (assistant co-ordinator at St Augustine’s).

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the renovated bandstand are, from left, Bob Ollier (Fenland District Council’s parks and open spaces manager), Councillor Peter Murphy (Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment), Maxine Woodhouse (co-ordinator at St Augustine’s Day Care Centre), Mayoress of Wisbech Marie Tierney, Wisbech Mayor Steve Tierney, Linda Cave and Arthur Hunt from St Augustine’s Day Care Centre and Carole Farnworth (assistant co-ordinator at St Augustine’s).

Archant

Wisbech bandstand has been restored thanks to a £62,000 refurbishment but it took over 18 months and double the original budget for the work to be completed.

Wisbech bandstand opening day in July 1908Wisbech bandstand opening day in July 1908

Work on the 109-year-old bandstand started in December 2015 and was supposed to be finished by the end of March 2016.

But it ground to a halt when a flaw was discovered in the steel roofing.

Now work has finally finished and the mayor Steve Tierney was on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Guests from St Augustine’s Day Care Centre, Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder for the environment, Councillor Peter Murphy, and the council’s parks and open spaces manager Bob Ollier attended the ceremony.

Frank Cannata, of Franks Ices, which provided ice-creams at the official re-opening for free, with Bob Ollier.Frank Cannata, of Franks Ices, which provided ice-creams at the official re-opening for free, with Bob Ollier.

Mr Ollier said the project topped off years of hard work to develop Wisbech Park.

He said: “Wisbech is very lucky to have such a wonderful park, with children’s play areas, tennis and multi-use games areas, picnic areas, a bowling green, a maze, over 240 beautiful trees, sculptures, bird and bat boxes and, of course, in pride of place our refurbished bandstand.

“I feel privileged to see the park today and the transformation that has been undertaken in the 14 years that I have worked at Fenland District Council.

“It has been a long journey but we have now arrived.”

St Augustine’s Day Care Centre user Arthur Hunt enjoys the music at the refurbished bandstand.St Augustine’s Day Care Centre user Arthur Hunt enjoys the music at the refurbished bandstand.

The renovation work included a new thief-proof roof, a new floor, installing new electrics and lighting, refurbishing all the ironwork, and surrounding railings and gates, and repairing and levelling the paving slabs.

Cllr Murphy said: “I hope you think it is money well spent to be able to enhance the park for users for many years to come.”

Cllr Tierney said: “We sometimes take it for granted and perhaps don’t always see what’s in front of us.

“We now have a fantastic bandstand and I look forward to it being enjoyed once again.”

Frank Cannata, of Franks Ices, which provided ice-creams at the official re-opening for free, with Bob Ollier.Frank Cannata, of Franks Ices, which provided ice-creams at the official re-opening for free, with Bob Ollier.

The eventual restoration was funded by £30,000 from not-for-profit organisation WREN and £32,113 from Fenland District Council.

Missing from the bandstand in 2017 is a lead roof that was part of the original design.

A report to the council in 2015 noted that “whilst it would be desirable to reinstate a lead finish to the roof there is a concern that such a material would be attractive to theft and given the location of the band stand within the park there is easy opportunity for it to be stolen”.

Sarah Gosling from WREN, and Bob Ollier, FDC parks and open space manager, infront of Wisbech bandstand which is being given a make-over. Picture Steve Williams.Sarah Gosling from WREN, and Bob Ollier, FDC parks and open space manager, infront of Wisbech bandstand which is being given a make-over. Picture Steve Williams.


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