Community spirit was out in full force on Wednesday, June 13th, to complete work at the Thomas Blake Memorial Gardens in Ross-on-Wye.

The team from the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Men’s Shed re-installed the benches located at the top of the gardens, which they have been refurbishing at their Thursday morning sessions over the last few months.

They took the benches in one go, before taking them apart at their premises. The wooden bench slats were then professionally cleaned and put through their sanding machine. The wooden ends were then sanded by hand and put back together, and the cast iron ends of the benches were cleaned and re-painted. However, the ends of the centre bench were kindly stripped and re-painted by the Dean Forest Steam Railway.

A nearby neighbour, David Callinan, supplied them with power from his house, so they could reinstall the benches with their power tools - and the Ross Lions Club made a significant donation towards the cost of materials for the refurbishment.

The Ross Rotary Club also kindly donated money to provide some new shrubs for the gardens, after the previous shrubs keeled over due to the snow! The cheque was presented by the President of Ross Rotary Club, Richard Williams, to Cllr Caroline Utting and Nicky Jones, made out to the Thomas Blake Garden volunteers.

The Two Rivers Housing team, which is based in Newent, also returned to the gardens to re-paint the railings. The access was temporarily restricted due to the wet paint.

See more photos in this week’s edition of the Ross Gazette, or subscribe to our online edition here