‘Eligible’ bid for bandstand hits high note

A band performing in Ayscoughfee gardens in Spalding.
A band performing in Ayscoughfee gardens in Spalding.
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Music lovers are a step closer to seeing the return of a long-awaited bandstand to gardens in Spalding.

A bid for £60,000 funding has been deemed ‘eligible’ for a slice of Springfields’ section 106 money.

The final decision on the bandstand plan for Ayscoughfee Hall gardens will be announced at South Holland District Council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday, October 1.

If approved it will not only strike a chord with the Town Forum, where it has been a frequent agenda item, but also a member of Friends of Ayscoughfee.

Mavis Wilson (80), of Pennygate, says she has fond memories of listening to bands playing in a thatched roof bandstand on the lawn through the arched entrance to Ayscoughfee.

The rustic bandstand, built to commemorate the Coronation of George VI, was built in 1937 but was destroyed by arsonists in the early 1970s.

Since then the Friends of Ayscoughfee have arranged concerts on the south lawn during the summer months.

Mrs Wilson said: “I can remember back to to 1939 when musicians wore red coats and navy trousers and looked very smart.

“So many people used to go along to listen there was standing room only.

“A lot of elderly people would like to see a bandstand return – especially those who go from the care homes at weekends.

“The children have a lovely play area, so what about us?

“It’s time the Town Forum stopped talking about it and did something.”

George Aley, chairman of the Town Forum, said he was delighted the bid had made it through the first stages.

He said: “Since we announced the bid we have had nothing but positive responses. Even young people have said they would like to see pop groups play there.

“A lot of people want the answer to be ‘yes’.”