Restoring the dilapidated arches was our first major project, leading to the forthcoming major lottery funded project.
In 1875 eight arches, known as the Linden Arches, were erected under the avenue of lime trees in the Pump Room Gardens. These arches contained gas lights in glass globes.
Over the years they disappeared. By 2008 there were only two left, derelict and globeless.
That year Warwick District Council, as owners of the Pump Room Gardens, invited the Leamington Society and CLARA (the Central Leamington Residents’ Association) to raise money to restore the Victorian arches. Two more amenity societies, the Royal Leamington Buildings Conservation Trust and the Warwickshire Gardens Trust, joined the project. These four societies united to form the Friends of the Pump Room Gardens.
After the necessary funds were raised, the arches were manufactured and installed in 2012. Nearly all the work was carried out by local firms under the lead of Worrall’s Engineering of Warwick, only a few miles from the gardens.
The crowns were gilded by a specialist Leamington sign-writer and the electrics done by yet another local firm.
The council provided one third of the total cost; the Friends, as volunteers, raised the remainder from public contributions. The restored arches were formally opened by HRH the Duke of Gloucester on 7th June, 2012 in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.