WW1 Centenary: Poppies and Produce in Beach House Park

WW1 floral tribute in Beach House Park, Worthing

Worthing's Beach House Park is an ideal place for quiet contemplation at any time of year. Monday 4th August is the centenary of the start of the First World War and to commemorate this event a bold giant poppy made up of small red flowers has been planted on the circular mound at the back of the War Pigeon Memorial. Tall red poppies have also been planted amongst the shrubs on the rockery. It's a beautiful sight.

Poppies at Worthing's Pigeon War Memorial

Equally impressive is Beach House Park's WW1 Allotment Bed, planted in May by Paul Eustice and Worthing & District Allotments Association. I've been watching its progress with delight and it's wonderful to now see the vegetables growing in abundance having survived weeks of drought, the recent flash floods and the ravages of local wildlife (insect, animal and human). The allotment has been designed to grow the food varieties which were available at that time.

WW1 Allotment Bed, Beach House Park, Worthing

During World War 1 Victory Gardens were encouraged for the first time in Britain as a means for the population to have food at a time when it was in short supply. In common with much of the country, many parks and green spaces in Worthing were turned into allotments including Denton Gardens (opposite Beach House Park) where the local police force were given plots to grow potatoes. East Worthing was known for its tomatoes, grapes and cucumbers.

WW1 vegetable patch, Beach House Park

A hundred years on, some the varieties planted in Beach House Park's WW1 commemorative allotment are still widely used by allotment holders and growers.

Beach House Park, Worthing in August
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