13.02.20

History Pt 4

Improvements At The Winter Gardens,

Morecambe & Heysham Chronicle,
March 2, 1910

ALL FOR SIXPENCE.


OUTDOOR ATTRACTIONS AT THE
WINTER GARDENS


GREAT IMPROVEMENTS IN
PROGRESS.

Morecambe is certainly going ahead. In addition to all the improvements the Corporation have in hand in the beautifying and widening of the Front, private enterprise is carrying the scheme a long way further. The stretch of waste ground between the Winter Gardens and the Midland Railway has hitherto been anything but a place of beauty. For a year or two it has been utilised as a sort fairground and, as such, has provided a certain amount of pleasure to those with a taste for such forms of entertainment as helter-skeltering, rifle shooting, cocoanut sallying, knocking down the bullock, and so on. But, when all was said and done, by no stretch of the imagination could the place be described as a credit to the town. Under the supervision of one of our best landscapes gardeners, this plot of land is being turned into a veritable fairyland.

Here the wilderness is to blossom as the rose and the land that was desolate to become like the Garden of Eden. Some five or six acres are being added to the attractions of the Winter Gardens. Already the work is sufficiently advanced to enable a good idea to be gained of what is intended. The space to the west of the Winter Gardens has been railed in and laid out in broad paths and ornamental gardens, a bandstand is being erected, and immediately in front will be an open-air dancing floor one hundred feet square.

This will be approached, about the centre, by a new entrance from the Empress Skating Hall, and a second new connection between the Hall and the grounds will be provided at the rear of the former-in what hitherto has been the extreme end of Bath Street. A good half of that street will be laid out as a garden, separated from the public thoroughfare by an irreversible exit and panic door. Proceeding still further to the rear there will be a good-sized hot-house, to act as a forcing chamber for the gardens, and also to be open to inspection. The old Station Hotel has been acquired, and the excellent bowling gree attached has been brought up-to-date and added to the extension scheme. A good bowl house has been provided, and plentiful lavatory accommodation. Incidentally, it may be mentioned that the house is being turned into a comfortable and commodious residence for the manager.

A very varied and extensive collection of trees, shrubs, plants, etc., has been used in the work, and neither expanse nor trouble spared to make everything as beautiful and comfortable as possible. The old flying machine is to be converted into a Promenade Deck, and from it, there will be a full view of the whole of the grounds. A Pierrot Pavilion will be included in the scheme, and thus lovers of the Alfresco will be able to enjoy their amusement amid the most delightful surroundings. A great feature will be made of the illuminations. After sunset, the grounds will be lighted with a number of the Golden Ray of lamps, which are noted not only for their power but for their gently diffused glow. There will be no stint in the number of lamps, and it is confidently anticipated the knights of the wood will be able to gauge the Jack hours after their less favoured brethren.

The cafe is also being remodelled, so as to form a cafe quite distinct from the public one, which, of course, will be retained. In the new cafe, there will be three Exhibition Billiard tables, by leading makers. This long list, however, does not exhaust the improvements that are taking place at the Winter Gardens. A New Terrace is to be erected along the entire front of the premises, so as to enable patrons to go from the King’s Pavilion to the Empress Hall on the balcony level. This Terrace will extend eighteen feet from the building and will form a public shelter and arcade below, while the balcony itself will be six feet in width. The old balcony to the Empress Hall is being fitted up as a first-class bar, and at the other end, there will be a tea and temperance bar.

This Terrace will unite the Winter Gardens into a compact whole, and make it so that access can be readily and easily gained from the different parts of the building. It will also be a favourite viewpoint, not only of the life upon the Front but the scenery across the Bay, ‘’The English Bay of Naples.’’ with its background of mountains, presenting one of the most beautiful sights in the British isles, nowhere looks better than from about this point. No doubt many, who, in days to come, will stand there entranced, will echo the great poet’s sentiments when after witnessing a sunset over the Bay he described it as ‘’ The Garden Gate of the West.’’ Messrs. Broadhead & Son are to be congratulated upon their enterprise. The Winter Gardens have been known as a Palace of Pleasure. With all these additions they will be so In the superlative degree. Yet all the attractions are to be had for the humble Tanner.

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