Hexham Bandstand back to its former glory

Hexham’s iconic bandstand is back in place after being restored to its former glory.

Funding to the tune of £125,000 to renovate and restore the Bandstand and the Sele Fountain in Hexham Park was agreed last year and since then painstaking restoration work has been carried out.

The funding came from the county council, Hexham Town Council and a number of private donors.

The bandstand and fountain are both over 100 years old and are well-loved features in the park. The bandstand was donated to the park by local wool merchant Henry Bell in 1912, the year after the park land was bought by the town council. The drinking fountain was installed into the park around the same time.

Over a century of painting and maintenance of both structures had enabled them to survive into this century but a full renovation was needed to enable them to continue to be the centre of life in the park.

The work required was so significant that both structures had to be dismantled by skilled conservators and removed to specialist workshop for restoration.

The bandstand, painted in its original colours with a new zinc roof, has now been welcomed back to the town centre and crowds were out in force for the formal re-dedication service.

Hexham Mayor Trevor Cessford, previous Mayor Councillor Rad Hare and County Council Civic Head Councillor Alan Sambrook were there, along with MP Guy Opperman and other civic dignitaries.

Thanks were given for the support of the County Council’s Conservation and Green Spaces teams who managed the project and ensured the work was undertaken to a high standard.

Northumberland County Councillor Ian Swithenbank, Cabinet Member for Local Services, said: “The bandstand is well used and is the focal point for many of the cultural and community events in the park.

“We’re delighted at the finished work which is testament to the skilled craftspeople who have spent months lovingly restoring this iconic structure back to its former glory.”

The Sele fountain is also due for return in the coming weeks, having been similarly cleaned and repaired, electroplated to exclude future rust and painted in original colours. 
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