Despite the windy conditions dozens of local well-wishers congregated in the Pump Room Gardens on Friday 15 March to celebrate the return of its iconic Victorian bandstand.
The bandstand was officially re-opened by the Chairman of Warwick District Council Cllr Stephen Cross who was joined by Archie Pitts representing the Friends of the Pump Room Gardens and Bill Hunt, Deputy Chief Executive of Warwick District Council. The opening was followed by a rousing performance by Royal Spa Brass on the ‘new stage’. Visitors were then invited to take a guided of tour the newly landscaped, before returning to the Royal Pump Rooms to listen to a talk by Dominic Liptrot of Lost Art, the company responsible for the bandstands restoration and enjoy refreshments including a piece of ‘bandstand’ cake made by local company ‘The Cakery’.
Bill Hunt, Deputy Chief Executive, Warwick District Council said: “The return and unveiling of such an important part of the history of Royal Leamington Spa has been eagerly anticipated by everyone involved in this project. I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to the Friends of the Pump Room Gardens, The National Heritage Lottery Fund, Royal Leamington Spa Town Council, Warwick District Council’s project team and contractors Lost Art and IDverde for their hard work and dedication in turning a vision into reality.”
Archie Pitts, Chairman of the Friends of the Pump Room Gardens, said: “It is wonderful to see the return of our bandstand, as good as new, if not even better, 130 years after it was first installed. The Friends are hugely grateful to all involved in making this happen and in particular those who generously helped us to raise over £100,000 towards the restoration of the bandstand and the gardens.”
The re-opening of the bandstand coincided with the launch of a new exhibition on the Pump Room Gardens in the foyer of the Royal Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, celebrating the history and restoration of the bandstand. The exhibition features historic photos and artwork relating to the bandstand, original items from the bandstand itself, and a short film by local marketing company ‘MadebySonder’ featuring the story of the restoration project.