Works are being carried out at South Cliff Gardens which is included on The Historic England ‘Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.’ The aim of the scheme is to rejuvenate the existing South Cliff Gardens and restore them to their former glory.

The scheme has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £4,665,700 with an additional £105,000 also being raised by local community groups.

Overview of the Works

The aim of this scheme is to rejuvenate the existing South Cliff Gardens and restore them to their former glory. The scheme has received substantial funds from the National Lottery Community and Heritage Funds with money also being raised by local community groups.

The full project comprises of the construction of a new maintenance and community hub, along with general refurbishment and landscaping upgrades to the existing South Cliff Park. The project also includes refurbishment work to the existing tunnel, currently closed off to the public under the funicular railway.

Construction Works to Date (September 18th – October 15th)

Progress has continued to be made on the construction of the new community building within the gardens, ‘Beeforth’s Hive’. During the past month the progress has included:

  • Internal blockwork on building ongoing
  • Roller shutter frames now on site
  • Stone installed around building to level
  • Kerbs laid around soak away area and to the rear of the building. Soil put into area for planting
  • 80 per cent of ducting installed for pump station
  • BT ducting now installed into the building
  • Set out remaining drainage and reduced dig areas
  • Northern Power Grid have installed cable and connected the electric feed into the cabinet
  • All threshold kerbs now installed in doorways

Area 22 Steps & Footway Progress

  • Existing steps removed, area dug out and trimmed with type one stone up to the tunnel entrance
  • Old pointing on wall adjacent to the tunnel ground out and repointing completed. Scaffold now removed
  • New step and conservation kerbs cast
  • New setts and rocks laid in area to the tunnel entrance. Type one stone also installed
  • Footing for dry stone wall and new timber edge wall dug out
  • Installation of timber retaining walls, rockery edges, setts and new fence posts
  • Footway stoned up to level and tarmacked

Southern Footway near the Clock Café

  • Setts installed from Area 22 Steps to area past Area 18 Steps
  • Continuing digging out for setts and installation of concrete footing
  • Setts now being laid in those areas

Shelter 1 Progress

  • Tongue & Groove match boarding installed below windows. New timber also installed around windows
  • Timber cladding removed from rear wall exposing poor brick work. Wall now rebuilt and pointed with new timber installed
  • Tongue & Groove match boarding installation completed on the wall

Shelter 2 Progress

  • Roof tiles removed (taken back to compound) and as much timber as possible retained with the shelter being a listed building
  • Timber cladding and benches removed to expose rear wall
  • Removal of timber posts and new timbers spliced in
  • Rafter repairs, fascia boards and eaves boards complete
  • Works to complete the decorative items now concluded
  • Trenches dug out inside the shelter and blinded out ready for steel work

Shelter 8 Progress

  • Timber removed from the roof and replaced with new
  • Windows installed
  • Work on northern roof and centre complete
  • Southern roof rafter repairs/replacements complete
  • Wall pan removed and replaced with new

Lost Shelter Progress

  • Area dug out and all buried rocks recovered. Area also set out and levelled off
  • Construction of upper wall completed and 50 per cent of new setts laid
  • All rocks to the rear of the area cleaned and tidied

Meanwhile, shelters 9, 10, 11 and 12 have all had their roof stripped down to the rafters. Each roof has been re-covered so as to protect them from the elements.

Elsewhere across the project, work is continuing on:

  • Shelter numbers 5, 6 and 13
  • Area 19 Steps
  • The Clock Tower
  • Footway on the north side of the tunnel

Site Visit for Scarborough PRU

We were delighted to welcome pupils and staff from the Scarborough Pupil Referral Unit down to site recently for a guided tour of the project. Alan Clarke (PBS Site Manager), Brendon Smurthwaite (PBS Community Manager) and Gemma Alexander (South Cliff Gardens Community Engagement Officer) led the tour which allowed the pupils and staff to learn more about the restoration works.

Jennie Rogers, Careers Leader at Scarborough PRU, said:

We visited the South Cliff Gardens site with a variety of pupils from different year groups and they all gained useful information about the project from the tour. The pupils were informed of the history of the site and also about the improvements which are currently underway. They really enjoyed learning about the history and are looking forward to seeing everything when the project is completed.” 

Brendon Smurthwaite, PBS Community Manager, added:

“We’re really keen to invite schools and colleges down to site to see the project in progress. When I spoke to Jennie about having some of their staff and pupils come along for a site visit it was an idea she really liked. We’ve also invited the school to assist with our monthly litter picks and the plan is to development our relationship with them during the remainder of the project.”

Keeping South Cliff Gardens Tidy

Every month we undertake a litter pick within the gardens to try and keep the area as today as possible. This month, James and Jonny (both PBS Groundworks Apprentices) and Brendon (PBS Community Manager) were joined by two pupils and two staff from the Scarborough Pupil Referral Unit. They litter picked for an hour on a thankfully dry day! A massive thank you goes to the Scarborough PRU for allowing some of their staff and pupils to lend a helping hand and we’re looking forward to them being involved again in future. Our photo shows James and Jonny at the end of the litter pick.

Getting to know……Andy Thorley

Each month in this newsletter we’ll be shining the spotlight on a member of the PBS site staff working on the gardens. This month it’s the turn of Andy Thorley, PBS Project Manager on the South Cliff Gardens Restoration, to step into the spotlight.

Q. How did you get into construction and can you outline your role at PBS?

I started in construction when I was 18-years-old, working for the East Riding of Yorkshire Council. Whilst I was there I worked my way up to highest level working on highways and then left to go into the private sector. When I joined PBS I started out as a ganger/groundworker before progressing into site management. From there I moved into the role of contracts manager, which involves overseeing multiple jobs and making sure our staff are ok, ensuring orders are in place, liaising with clients, producing reports and adjusting programmes.   

Q. If you hadn’t have chosen construction, what career path might you have followed?

I wanted to be an electrician so it would probably have been that.

Q. What would your advice be to a young person who is looking to go into construction?

It’s a tough career so go to college, listen to advice on site and work hard; it can be very rewarding.

Q. What has been the most interesting project you’ve worked on?

I’d say Newland Bridge, near Selby. The job was to jack up the bridge, move it back in line with the road, install new bridge bearings, back fill with a lightweight material (leca), rebuild the abutment walls, install a new VRS (vehicle restraint system) and resurface the road. It was said that the job couldn’t be completed in 20 weeks but we did indeed finish it in that time.

Q. Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

I once won Bullseye when it was at Bridlington Spa. I won all the prizes and scored 101 with 6 darts to take the cash prize as well!

Q. What type of music do you have on in your van?

It can vary from 60’s to Oasis, Eminem to Radio 2.

Q. How do you fill your spare time?

Playing golf, cycling or playing darts.

Q. What is your ideal meal?

Either a nice steak or Thai food.

Many thanks to Andy for agreeing to go under the spotlight!

Monthly Site Tour

We will be hosting a monthly site tour on the last Thursday of every month throughout the duration of the project. Our next tours will be held between 1-2pm on Thursday October 28th and Thursday November 25th. All are welcome. Anyone who would like to come on the tour should meet at the Clock Tower just before 1pm. Please note that these tours will include walking on uneven paths and surfaces, inclines and steps and may be unsuitable for those with mobility issues.

Congratulations, Alan!

Earlier this month our Site Manager on the South Cliff Gardens project, Alan Clarke, was presented with the Hull Building Safety Group ‘Best Site Safety Performance to Site Manager’ 2021 award.

Alan earned the accolade on the back of overseeing an exemplary site safety record on two big recent projects, one in Bridlington and the other in Hull. Alan, in conjunction with PBS Health and Safety Manager, Danny Long, is now implementing those high safety standards on the South Cliff Gardens site. A big well done to Alan! He’s pictured (centre) receiving his award from Mark Dobson of the Hull Building Safety Group (left) and Pete Smurthwaite, PBS Chairman (right).


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