It’s not surprising Alexandra Park won the title of Best Park in the South East last week because local people love it.
Writing in the comments section of the Hastings In Focus website Christine Fagan said: It’s beautiful, it’s free and it’s safe for our young grandchildren to enjoy with us; picnics, ball games special family times.”
Pam Jeffries wrote: “…spent my childhood days there, should have signage in the town centre to advise visitors of this jewel!”
Charlotte Eastes has been a lifelong lover of the park: “I grew up opposite the park. Was on the tennis courts, rose gardens, duck ponds, the Ghyll. Love every inch of it.”
Jenny Betts says: “A place to go to walk, watch kids play football, have a coffee, listen to the band and watch the ducks and swans. Beautiful place to be and the conveniences are beautiful and clean.”
Annette Vallance joined the throng of people praising the park at the weekend: “Just brilliant, I love Alexandra Park particularly all the different type of trees there.”
Rob Lee who leads the Conservative group on Hastimgs Borough Council (HBC) says: “Alexandra park is much loved by all in the town and is a beautiful place enjoyed by all ages, It is no surprise that it won the award, well done to the people of Hastings for voting for it.”
On just one group on Facebook more than 200 people ‘liked’ the story that Hastings In Focus posted last week with many more posting comments too.
Ian Ashenden said: “Our park does deserve its winning place.”
Anthony Stock though the award was: “Rightly deserved.”
Alayna Robins wrote: “Great news. It’s a wonderful park. We feel blessed that one of the entrances is from the bottom of our road.”
Claire Rozier says: “I love Alexandra park, I used to cycle all the way from the entrance to the woods at the end. So peaceful. Used to even like a bike ride in light rain, the smells that come with it, such a perfect park in my opinion.”
Shirley Hawke was not surprised: “Wonderful news, but we all knew it was the best anyway, didn’t we?” she wrote.
Sue Swaffer added: “Congratulations to everyone involved in this and for keeping this beautiful park so lovely, was there today with my grandchildren who love it, Well done everyone!”
Elaine Hayes wrote: “I use the park daily and absolutely love it, it’s amazing. We are very lucky.”
Was HBC caught out by the park’s success? We asked them last Friday morning for a comment and we needed to remind them on Tuesday morning that we’d had no response. This afternoon, almost five days after Alexandra Park’s win was announced to the public a statement was issued by the council.
Colin Fitgerald, HBC’s lead councillor for environmental services said: “Alexandra Park is a fantastic asset for the town. Hastings Borough Council is so proud to have it as a green flag site as well as being recognised as the best park in the south east.
“Against a backdrop of year on year government cuts, this is testament to the hard work of council officers and excellent partnership working with our grounds maintenance contractor, Idverde.”
We’ll find out on September 12th if the Hastings park has won the overall national title.
Main pictures by Peter Norman