THE MAYOR of Oldham has urged Delphers to help keep their treasured green spaces as he officially opened the restored Chapel Garden.
The garden on Gartside Street first sprung to life in 1962 on the site of two previous churches as a place for peaceful relaxation to be used freely by all.
Over the years, it fell by the wayside but for the last two years, volunteers have been renovating the garden through tree surgery, mowing, adding new flowerbeds and benches.
Now, the Mayor of Oldham Derek Heffernan, from Austerlands, has unveiled their hard work in a special ceremony organised by Delph Community Association.
More than 50 locals gathered rain in Delph Methodist Church Hall for the event, which included music from Delph Band, performances from Saddleworth Street Dance, games and refreshments.
Cllr Heffernan encouraged the villagers to back the project with support and funding to ensure the garden can be maintained long-term by volunteers and professional garden services.
“Volunteers do help but we do need to set this on a permanent footing so we don’t lose it, as that would be a tragedy,” he said.
“This is a part of the village and should not be lost. We need to keep our gardens and keep them green.
“A small amount of money from a lot of people quickly adds up and can make a big difference and will protect this garden for years to come.”
Phillida Shipp, chair of Delph Community Association, added: “We’re asking Delphers, their friends and families to become a Friend of Chapel Garden and contribute a small amount each year to the community association to pay for planned maintenance.
“Volunteers have done a wonderful job so far but cannot be expected to continue that without back up.
“Thank you to all of the volunteers who have worked so hard, particularly Keith Begley who has been the driving force for this.”
Keith recently spent three hours adding a bright splash of colour to the Chapel Garden by planting bedding plants in the new flower beds.
He said: “The garden is not as it would have originally been but we’ve made it look nice and added some colour so hopefully people will like it and support what we are doing.”