National Garden Festival Opening

The opening day of the National Garden Festival in Stoke - we are airing an original National Garden song written by Chris Ellis on Radio Stoke (Sam Plank - Radio Stoke Booth - in the background) Unfortunately the 1.00 news cut across our performance halfway through) but great fun was had by all and of course it was a real honour to be singing this song at such short notice on such a prestigious occasion.  Damon and I struggle with synths we have not used before but it all went off well - the kids and staff were delighted to have performed on this historic day for Stoke on Trent.

Nat Garden festival Opening
Garden festival Logos finale

The 5 National Garden Festivals were:

  • Liverpool Garden Festival, 1984. This site was originally reclaimed from the Mersey in 1951 in order to be used as a Household Tip. With many years of being mothballed, the site has been undergoing a major regeneration programme since 2010 and is due to reopen with 1,300 homes and the Japanese Gardens restored in September. www.festivalgardens.com for info. The festival attracted 3,380,000 visitors.
  • Stoke-on-Trent Garden Festival, 1986. This 165 acre site originally included the Wedgewood Etruria Factory, and later the Shelton Bar Steelworks. It is now mostly maturing garden parkland, as you will see, with retail outlets and offices now on 100 acres of the site, there are around 65 acres left as parkland with some of the original featurers, and much of the landscaping still remaining. The Festival attracted 2,184,052 visitors in total.
  • Glasgow Garden Festival, 1988. Was largely docklands and reclaimed land and is now the Glasgow Science Centre, and a digital media village on the banks of the River Clyde. Sais to be the most successful of all of the Festivals, attracting 4.3 million visitors.
  • Gateshead Garden Festival, 1990. Was sited on 200 acres of reclaimed land – originally a gasworks, coal depot and coking plant it is now a housing estate. The Festival attracted just over 3 million visitors.
  • Ebbw Vale Garden Festival, 1992. Originally this site was the British Steel and tin works, and was abandoned after the closure of the event before being renovated to include more than 1,000 homes, a massive shopping centre, a festival church and owl sanctuary. The Festival attracted just over 2 million visitors.

The Stoke-on-Trent Garden Festival included: 87 themed gardens, the biggest sculpture display since 1951, three major event areas, the largest cable car system in the UK at the time, a railway system with 5 stations, Festival Halls with the biggest flower shop in the UK, a marina with a canalside inn and show houses.