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Summer of fun in the Park

Published: 14/07/2022
Victoria Park fountain

This Summer there’s so much to see and do at Victoria Park. With events and activities to suit music and dance fans, families, lovers of conservation, bookworms and even bored teenagers. Here’s a selection of what’s on offer…

For bookworms…

The Park and Read community book service is open every Wednesday from 2-4pm at the Project Hub. Visitors can browse through available books and select any they want to take home to read. They can also drop off any unwanted books to add to the collection.

For teenagers…

There are opportunities for local youth groups to get involved with our Street Art in the Park programme funded by Reconnect Kent. Local artists Hello Murals will be offering Street Art Summer Schools for two local youth groups. To register your group’s interest, contact the youth involvement co-ordinator Nicola at nicola.priest@ashford.gov.uk.

The programme will add to the growing collection of new artwork in the park being designed by young people and local artists. This includes a large new mural on the Victoria Park Project Hub. Workshops take place throughout August.

Enjoy the environment…

Garden and Grow is an opportunity for young people to take part in free workshops throughout August with a gardening expert to learn skills in garden design and management. The workshop will also involve helping to create a mini garden in a permanent planter for Victoria Park. More details to be announced on the website soon.

Nature lovers can join Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership Walking tour on habitats which takes place on Monday 25 July and will be bookable nearer to the date.

August will also see the return of Kentish Stour Countryside Partnerships popular ‘River Dipping’ activity for families!

World music and dance…

On Saturday 9 July, from 12pm to 8pm you can experience dance, music and food from around the world with Shiva Nova’s World in a Tent Multicultural Festival. Including African, Nepalese, Balkans, Syrian, Roma, Gypsy, Bollywood and Latin DJs, Tai-chi, arts and crafts stalls, a Bollywood Bazaar, cultural exhibitions, world picnic, workshops and activities. The event has been supported with funding from Ashford Borough Council, ACE Lottery, Kent County Council Reconnect and is free entry. 

Mr Harper’s Musical Fountain

The Victoria Park Project has commissioned sound artist and composer Emily Peasgood to work with the community around the park and local young people to create a new piece of music inspired by the heritage of the Hubert Fountain. The Hubert Fountain, once displayed at the International exhibition in 1862 was donated to the park on 24 July 1912 by local philanthropist Mr Harper and was said to once contain a musical device. On donation it was agreed that the fountain would be turned on every year on Mr Harper’s birthday.

Young people from Ashford Oaks Primary School and the Milbank Centre as well as local community members have taken part in workshops with Emily Peasgood making their own water instruments and digitally composing them. Artist and composer Emily Peasgood said: “It has been really exciting researching the fountain and its potential musical features and I created some fun workshops that involve making water instruments, recording them, and then sampling them with modern sound production techniques. You don’t need any experience to take part".

The new music piece will be unveiled at Mr Harper’s Birthday Celebrations on 23 July from 12pm-4pm in Victoria Park.

The celebrations will also include:

  • Fabric of Ashford workshops with Emergency Exit Arts
  • Music performances from Revelations Ashford
  • Creative activities for families and young people
  • As well as refreshments available to purchase on the day from The Coffee Box, Ashford Ice Creams and L.E's Treats

The kids are taking over….

Victoria Park Kids Take-over Week returns from 23 to 29 July and will be kicked off by Mr Harpers Birthday Celebrations. The week is all about Ashford's young people so look out for online activities on Victoria Park social media and pop-up activities around the park. Groups that would like to get involved can get in touch with the Youth Involvement Co-ordinator Nicola at nicola.priest@ashford.gov.uk

Creative Commissions… 

Artist Julia Clarke has been commissioned by The Victoria Park Project to create three new Willow Sculptures in The Watercress Fields area of the park this Summer. These willow sculptures will then be used as inspiration for three local schools and youth groups to design and make their own willow sculptures through workshops in the Autumn term with Julia Clarke.

Cllr Matthew Forest, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Property and Recreation said: “It’s fantastic to see so many free activities taking place in the borough’s biggest park. After a tough few years there really is something for everyone to enjoy. I hope each event is a success and brings all our wonderful communities together.”

For more information on all these events visit Victoria Park's website or follow Victoria Park’s Facebook page.