2022 Denton Gardens Centenary Year
1922 was the year that Denton Gardens was given to the people of Worthing by local businessman Alderman James Gurney Denton. The Friends of Denton Gardens celebrated this historical event by organising a public ‘Picnic in the Gardens’ where people came together to enjoy the open space, play games, eat and drink.
Worthing Borough Council allocated four park rangers once a week (August 2021) to tend the gardens so they look their best during the centenary year. Friends of Denton Gardens and the WBC park rangers installed a memorial stone and rebuilt and replanted the pergola. Various other projects have been discussed however, we welcome all new ideas from the local community. Please contact us.
Summer Picnic in Denton Gardens 18th June 2022
On a warm summer Saturday families gathered in the joyous surroundings of Denton Gardens to mark its centenary, coming together to play and relax much as they would have done exactly 100 years earlier when the Gardens were generously gifted to the people of Worthing.
Hundreds turned up for the event, billed as the Denton Gardens Summer Picnic, laid on by the Friends of Denton Gardens and the Worthing Borough Council Park Rangers.
Against a backdrop of bunting and buskers, the occasional spot of rain was a welcome coolant on an otherwise balmy day as children had fun playing organised games, learning circus skills with Poi Passion Circus Arts, and having their faces painted by Trading Faces. The adults meanwhile competed in a tug of war challenge, with the Egremont pub team finishing victorious despite the Coast Cafe team putting in a spirited effort. The Garden’s resident Splashpoint Minigolf course had a special guest for the day as a clown assisted golfers of all ages with their putting.
The Gardens were gifted to the people of Worthing by generous benefactor and four times Mayor of the town, Alderman James Gurney Denton, in June 1922 – exactly 100 years ago. To mark this milestone, the Friends of Denton Gardens commissioned a commemorative stone and a new pergola for the Gardens. The highlight of the afternoon was the official unveiling of both by Worthing’s new Mayor, Cllr Ferdousi Henna Chowdhury. She spoke with great affection about her early memories of playing in the Gardens as a child, before unveiling the stone with a flourish, and cutting the ribbon to open the pergola.
After a recent period of relative underinvestment in the Gardens, and following a threat of commercial development to the site, last year members of the local community set up the Friends of Denton Gardens to help protect, restore and improve the Gardens. The Group, with strong support from local ward councillors, Jim Deen, Rosey Whorlow and Sally Smith, saw off the development threat, and all three Councillors joined in with the fun and celebrations.
With the invaluable support of the Park Rangers, the Friends of Denton Gardens have now established a regular volunteer gardening group, and secured funding to improve the planting schemes, as well as rebuilding and replanting the previously rotten pergola and installing the centenary stone, which were inaugurated at Saturday’s event.
The Group’s event organiser and co-Chair, Annie Waran, said, “It was so good to see everyone enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of a lovely afternoon, with music and fun, making the work of the Friends of Denton Gardens in preserving the Gardens as a peaceful oasis for all, a rewarding endeavour.” Co-Chair Nadine Barber, added: “It’s been a real team effort to get to where we are, and we can’t thank the Rangers, the Ward Councillors and the volunteers enough for their input, as we look forward to the next 100 years!”