New pavilion for Hotham Park

C131208-3 Bog Pavilion phot kate''The gathering at the new Mary Mcfie pavilion in Hotham Park as it was officially opened.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C131208-3
C131208-3 Bog Pavilion phot kate''The gathering at the new Mary Mcfie pavilion in Hotham Park as it was officially opened.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C131208-3

A GENEROUS gift will create a lasting legacy for a Bognor Regis park.

Hotham Park’s newest meeting place was officially declared open for use in a celebration organised by the Hotham Park Heritage Trust.

Visitors will now be able to enjoy the Mary Macfie Pavilion which has been built thanks money bequeathed by Mary Macfie to the trust.

The trust’s chairman Rosemary Warren said: “The new pavilion will be a wonderful addition to the park and we hope Mary would be proud to see it being used.

“It has already been put to good use during the country fair and we hope this will continue.”

To mark the occasion some of Mary’s family and friends travelled down from Scotland to join in the festivities which took place last Thursday.

Mary’s nephew Alec Macfie said: “It has been lovely to come and see the pavilion opened. It fits in with the park really well and I think Mary would have liked to see her gift used in this way.

“I hope the people of Bognor and visitors to the park enjoy using it.”

Dorothy Macfie was given the honour of cutting the ribbon.

The playing of bagpipes added a special touch to the proceedings and refreshments and food were served in Hotham Park Lodge afterwards.

The only child of a local doctor, Mary grew up in the town and the family home, known as Aldwick End, stood on a plot at the junction of Hawthorn Road and West Meads Drive.

It was recently demolished and is now the site of a McCarthy and Stone Retirement Development.

Her father, who chose the site for their home and had it built to his specification, moved down from Scotland and set up his practice there during the inter-war years and Mary and her parents remained there throughout their lives.

A plague which explains Mary’s history has been put up on the pavilion’s side.

The trust approached Arun District Council for help and the project became a collaboration between the two organisations. The pavilion, which sits nestled in the popular park, is made of brick and slate around a steel and timber framework.

The trust has provided additional funding for the provision of light and power, to be used during park events and they intend to fund some seating in the future.