Official blessing for ‘bombsite’ turned beauty spot in Hartlepool

Father Graeme Buttery of St Oswald's Church (fifth from right) with the Bishop of Jarrow Mark Bryant, Hartlepool Mayor Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher and members of the Nasir Mosque
Father Graeme Buttery of St Oswald's Church (fifth from right) with the Bishop of Jarrow Mark Bryant, Hartlepool Mayor Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher and members of the Nasir Mosque

A CORNER of a community that was transformed from a “bombsite” to a place of beauty and relaxation has received official blessing.

A scruffy car park next to St Oswald’s Church hall in Milbank Road, Hartlepool, was turned into a community garden thanks to £61,000 of funding.

It has cheered up the place.

Father Graeme Buttery

Members of the community came together for a blessing and dedication ceremony by the Bishop of Jarrow Mark Bryant.

Father Graeme Buttery, of St Oswald’s Church, said: “In reality, the car park was a cross between a bomb site and local dump.

“The hall is being renovated and it seemed a shame to have a nice hall and this eyesore next to it.

“In partnership with the Wharton Trust, £61,000 was raised and we got it transformed into a garden for the local community. It has cheered up the place.”

The garden, which is in one of the most deprived areas of the town, features decking, raised flower beds, seating and artificial turf.

It was first unveiled last October but Fr Buttery added: “We wanted to hold a proper event when the weather was better.”

The ceremony was also attended by Hartlepool Mayor Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher, members of the Nasir Mosque, St Oswald’s church and local residents.

Mosque leader Imam Tahir Selby said: “We have got a very good relationship with the church and have offered our services if they want any help to look after the garden.”

The garden is open to anyone between 9am and 5pm. The funding came from Impetus Environmental Trust and the Tees Valley Community Foundation.