Happy 100th Garden City

By Mark Elson in Local People

A DAY of celebration was held on Saturday to mark the 100th anniversary of the Garden City estate in Chepstow.

Work on Hardwick Garden City began in 1917 – using the labour of prisoners of war – to house workers of National Shipyard Number One.

The Garden City Community Group, which was formed five years ago to improve the area, organised the celebration on the playing field near Severn Crescent.

Among the visitors was Michael Hobbs, of Green Street, who remembered the field as the ‘ash tip’ for the whole of Chepstow up to the early 1950s.

He said: “There was the bowls club, the Legion and two tennis courts and then the rest of it was the ash tip.

“With the dust from the shipyard and the quarry and the steam locomotives, you could have a bath on Sunday and be filthy again by Monday.”

One of the most popular attractions was the memories tent which featured old photos and artefacts from the area.

There was also the opportunity to contribute to a Garden City time capsule.

One of the organisers, Pam Robinson, said: “It’s been wonderful to hear the stories that have been prompted by the photographs.

The fun day also featured music performances, children’s activities and a visit by the fire and ambulance services.

The day, which raised £1,400 which will go to improving the park, was also praised by Mayor of Chepstow Cllr Dale Rooke.

He said: “This just goes to show how strong the feeling of community is in Chepstow.

“It has all been pulled together by the Garden City Community Group and it just shows what can be achieved when the community works together.”

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