The final phase of the Splash Point Regeneration Project has now been completed with the opening of the new Beach Garden to the east of Splash Point.
As a result of Worthing Council’s public consultation on the future of Splash Point the Worthing Society proposed that there should be a memorial dedicated to the RNLI to recognise the significant role the organisation has played in saving so many lives in our area, and the bravery and dedication of Worthing’s lifeboat crews who operated between 1850 and 1931, and the fishermen who acted as the lifeboat before it was taken over by the RNLI.
Following the completion of Splash Point regeneration the new garden on the beach was designed by Len Sephton and created by Worthing Borough Council’s Parks Department. The garden is to be dedicated to the RNLI and the significant role the organisation has played in saving so many lives in our area.
The Lifeboat memorial slate boulder designed by the Worthing Society, is sited in the garden.
The garden has been funded through the remainder of Worthing’s allocation from CABE’s Seachange Programme which also funded the main Splash Point project.
During the 77 years that the lifeboat operated out of Worthing there was a succession of four Lifeboats rowing and sailing with seven Coxswains during that time.
There were many significant rescues during this time when more than 60 lives were saved. In 1915 the lifeboat capsized when a crewman drowned.
There will be a ceremony at the Lifeboat Garden at 11am on Monday 7th May when Sir Peter Bottomley MP will dedicate the garden to the memory of the lifeboat crews and fishermen. Peter Huxtable MBE who will be replying on behalf of the RNLI, was the Coxswain of the Shoreham lifeboat from 1991 to 2011. He was awarded the MBE for services to the RNLI and also two RNLI awards. Peter helped to save 449 lives during his service with the lifeboat.
Council office, Len Sephton, who designed the garden says: “All gardening is a battle with nature and no bigger battle can be fought than with the salt winds and shoreline environment of the open beaches of Worthing.
“In creating the new garden at Splash I wanted the design to have the look of a ‘Garden’ rather than the natural beach growth that can be found growing wild along the coast. Also I felt that the design should be an analogous reflection of the style of the recently constructed Splash Point regeneration project.
“The hard formality of the decking, the rectangular timber-edged beds, and the formal planting of the Tamarisk trees contrasts with the natural beachscape. This contrast emphasises a purpose-built ‘Garden’ which is then softened somewhat by the more casual planting in the other beds of various species that should survive the battle."
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