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Friends of Town Quay Park News

Mayflower 400

We are working with the Southampton Cultural Trust and many other groups on plans for the Mayflower 400 celebrations, in 2020, which will mark the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower and Speedwell from Southampton.


The Mayflower

Improving the park

We have now got an established gardening group which meets twice a month (usually on the 1st Wednesday and 3rd Sunday of each month) to work on improving the look of the park. If you would like to join the group contact us at

We have also been delighted at the involvement of the Nature Club from St John’s School who have joined us once a month to help plant and maintain our new fruit trees and donated some pretty flowering plants to bring some colour to the park.



Spring flowers in Town Quay park


Park Improvements

Work was completed by Autumn 2016 on the improvements to the West (mound) side of the park.  A new seat was installed on the mound, the steps were repaired, rocks were installed for both visual interest and free play for children and the boundary of the park properly defined with new surfacing and planting.  Once the shrubs are established they will make an attractive display.  Seats were place in the old corn store (the little area enclosed by old walls facing Town Quay Road).

Plans for the East side are ongoing and we will be working with the City Council to make improvements to the paving and boundaries as well as new plantings during 2017.  We are continuing to raise funds to enable us to do everything possible to make the park a more attractive place to relax.



Town Quay park

Memorial unveiled in the park

More than 200 people attended a very special event in the park on 27th October 2013.  A stone memorial to the more than 20,000 people who were repatriated to Southampton from the Far East in November 1945 was unveiled.  Several veterans were present together with many family members of those who are part of the Far East Prisoners of War (FEPOW)  - see >

 Also present were the mayor of Southampton and  General Balfour Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire and the Leader of Southampton City Council, Simon Letts. The unveiling followed a service of Dedication in St Michaels Church in Bugle Street.  For full details > click here

The congregation processed from the church to the park with a group of service cadets acting as stewards and a piper providing some very evocative music.

Afterwards refreshments were provided by FTQP members and St Michaels for the guests who were able to reminisce about their family memories.

To complement the commemorative stone the beds adjacent to it  have been fully cleared and replanted with bamboos and grasses to evoke a sense of the far East from where the ships were bringing the people home.

The Mayor of Southampton unveiling the award in Town Quay Park The Mayor of Southampton unveiling the award in Town Quay Park

The Mayor of Southampton unveiling the award in Town Quay Park

The Mayor of Southampton unveiling the award in Town Quay Park

The Mayor of Southampton unveiling the award in Town Quay Park



Mayor unveils plaque for FTQP Award

Town Quay Park was recently awarded First Prize in the Southampton Green Open Spaces Award 2013. This award, which emphasises the need for local communities to identify with their public open space, is sponsored by CoSS (the City of Southampton Society) and SCAPPS (Southampton Common and Parks Protection Society) who wrote to say: "The degree of community spirit supporting your park is very evident, and we congratulate all members of the Friends Group for achieving this award".

On Thursday 5th September 2013, the Mayor of Southampton unveiled a plaque in the park, at a celebration event attended by a large number of supporters, including staff and students from St John's Primary School. The unveiling was followed by refreshments in the Wool House.


The Mayor of Southampton unveiling the award in Town Quay Park

The award plaque in Town Quay Park

Go Rhinos Sculpture trail

From July to September the park was thrilled to be home for two rhinos – Reggie and Rita.  They were part of a 36 rhino trail around the city centre and attracted thousands of visitors to the area.  They left the park in September and all the rhinos were returned to Marwell Zoo one of the event sponsors where they were auctioned for charity.  We enjoyed having a statue on the crown of the mound and are hoping we can think of a way to put another eye catching installation on the mound next year.



Reggie the rhino in Town Quay Park


New metal sign at the entrance to Town Quay park

The beautiful metal sign was made possible by an anonymous donation and
support from the council. It was created by Anna Vickers at the Mount
Pleasant Media Workshop after extensive consultation with FTQP members.

The sign is on the High Street entrance to the park.

New metal sign at the entrance to Town Quay park

Plaque commemorating the Southampton blitz

The commemorative plaque installed beside the hawthorn tree planted on November 30th 2010, the 70th anniversary of the bombing of the area, was created and engraved by Dan Comber.

The wording on the plaque reads:

"This tree was planted on 30th November 2010 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Southampton Blitz, which created the site now used as Town Quay Park.

In memory of all those who were killed and injured, or who lost their homes, loved ones or livelihoods.

The Friends of Town Quay Park. Preserving Town Quay Park's heritage, safeguarding its future."



The new noticeboard in Town Quay Park

New noticeboard in Town Quay Park

We are delighted that Southampton City Council have been able to provide us
with a notice board so that we can publicise events and updates more

The board is installed on the French Street side of the park
and complements the lovely sign which is now installed at the High Street


The new noticeboard in Town Quay Park

Felling of the park's mulberry tree

Local Friends were shocked and saddened over the weekend of 9th-10th June 2012 when the mulberry tree, which has long stood in the park as a reminder of our Huguenot heritage, was suddenly felled, leaving just a stump and a pile of branches and foliage.

The environment directorate of Southampton City Council explained that they needed to call in a tree surgeon urgently as the tree was splitting apart at the main forks, and had also damaged the railings. Two stems had already broken out and the third was “peeling” back. The tree specialist had no other option than to fell the tree.

Unfortunately, as the incident happened at the weekend and the need for action was urgent, it was not possible to consult with FTQP or other local residents before action was taken.

A replacement tree was planted in 2013 but unfortunately did not “take”. Happily a new tree was planted in 2014 and seems to be thriving. We are keeping a close eye on it.


The stump of the felled mulberry tree

Wheatsheaf Trustís work at Town Quay Park

In July this year a team of trainees from Wheatsheaf Trust‘s construction skills workshop painted the railings surrounding the Huguenot Garden in Town Quay Park.

Commissioned by Southampton City Council, the job took two weeks with the trainees working their three days a week allocated to their training programme on the project.

Dave Eyres, Wheatsheaf Trust Site Supervisor: “It was an important job to do for the city as it looked dull and miserable before, with the railings rusting, and a coat of paint really pulled it in.

“Now people can sit there and look around and see that everything’s nice and tidy and clear.

“We also decided to paint the vault gate because we knew a party of French  were coming on a visit to see the garden that’s a gift from the people of France, and the gate needed painting too.”

Trainee Anthony: “I enjoyed working on the project. It was interesting painting something that’s old and has history.

“I wouldn’t mind doing more stuff like it.”

Jonathan Cheshire, Chief Executive Wheatsheaf Trust: “We are very pleased to be able to help restore this fascinating part of Southampton’s heritage. The Huguenot Garden is a reminder of Southampton’s long historical relationship with France, whilst these young people, gaining valuable skills and experience, represent its future.”

The five trainees who took part in the project were all employed on the Trust’s Supported Work Experience and Training programme (SWEAT), which is delivered in partnership with Southampton City Council and Hampshire County Council, and funded by the Department of Work and Pensions. It offers six month paid work placements, progression workshops and 1-1 support for 18-24 year-olds.
For more information about SWEAT or other services and facilities provided at Wheatsheaf Trust centres, phone 023 8023 7662.

Notes on Wheatsheaf Trust:

Wheatsheaf Trust is a charity working to promote social inclusion in some of the most disadvantaged areas of Hampshire, through providing employment access centres and programmes to support people who are unemployed or in work but on a low wage, helping them to find work or training/re-skilling opportunities.

Centres are staffed by qualified advisers and offer free facilities for job/training course search.

Client programmes are tailor-made to meet individual needs and include access to numeracy, literacy, social and vocational skills learning, and work experience placements.

Wheatsheaf runs in-house courses to address issues experienced by specific groups, such as lone parents, over 50s, and to enhance job-search skills. The construction skills workshop in the basement at the Bernard Street centre teaches basic industry skills in bricklaying, carpentry and painting.

Three of our programmes support young people, for ages ranging from 13-19.

For more information about the work of Wheatsheaf Trust phone 023 8023 7662 or visit the website,


Members of the Wheatsheaf Trust who restored the railings

The band in front of the newly restored railings



Designs for Improving the Park

At the August 1st 'Picnic in the Park', attendees had the first chance to see the design ideas for improving both the planting of the park and a set of ideas - with differing levels of ambition - for transforming the Huguenot Garden.

Everyone was impressed by the creativity shown by Cliff in coming up with plans that could really brighten up that corner of the park within the existing budget. All those present were inspired by the further potential developments which are aspirational at the moment but may be achievable in the future. Comments on the suggestions board showed how carefully and appreciatively people had considered the plans. Huge thanks to Cliff and John Horton for giving us their time on a Sunday.

> See the designs for maintenance of the Huguenot Garden (pdf)

> See the designs for the planting pallette (pdf)

> See the options for transforming the Huguenot Garden (pdf)

> See the concept for the Huguenot Garden Parterre (pdf)

> See comments from attendees (pdf)

If you would like to comment on the proposals, please visit our Facebook page.


Improving Town Quay Park


Improving Town Quay Park

Improving Town Quay Park

July 2010

Committee members are meeting with the Parks Department at Southampton City Council to discuss ways of improving the appearance of the Park. This is starting with a plan to refurbish the Huguenot garden.

An event marking the Huguenot’s connection with Town Quay is planned for 1st August 2010 to link with national Love Parks Week.


Improving Town Quay Park

Protecting the Park

July 2010

In June 2010 FTQP submitted an application to Southampton City Council requesting that Town Quay Park be granted Town Green status. Local residents submitted evidence forms showing how important the Park is to them, and their continuous use of the Park over a 50 year period.

A Town Green is an urban equivalent to a Village Green and gives the land added protection from development. The Council will decide whether to grant Town Green status, or whether the application needs to go to a public enquiry.

FTQP will be keeping a watchful eye on developments and do all they can, with the local community’s support, to preserve the Park for the community, visitors and future generations.


Protecting the Park

Get involved

  • Become a member - every person who joins us helps us to save Town Quay Park.
  • Come to an event and show how important the park is to you
  • Help improve the Park, preserve the Park, organise events, share your ideas - contact us.
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