THE Friends of Ilkley Riverside Parks (FOIRP) have refurbished the War Memorial area in Riverside Gardens.

“The area was looking sorry for itself, with benches weathered and the bench plaques either hanging off or lost,”said FOIRP chairman Ed Duguid.

“The main Memorial sign was almost impossible to read and the surrounding areas of paths and embankment overgrown and full of weeds,”

Volunteers from the group have stripped and repainted the benches, new plaques have been sourced with funds from Ilkley Town Council and installed, paths have been trimmed and the embankment areas cut back ready for some replanting and graffiti on the flagpole has been painted over.

Ilkley Town Mayor, Mark Stidworthy, who came down to thank the volunteers for their hard work, said: “It’s great to see this whole area freshened up and something to be proud of again.

“It had originally been re-dedicated as part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations in 2012 and was in dire need of a makeover. The Town Council is hoping we can now use the area for a Re-dedication Ceremony on VJ day on August 15. We will be letting everyone know if this can go ahead in the near future.”

The volunteers now plan to freshen up the work at the raised beds by the Riverside Hotel and finish off the refurbishment of more benches and bins down there. There are plans to plant wildflowers on the topside of Riverside Gardens and, once the entrance works to East and West Holmes Fields and Riverside Gardens have been finished, they will be installing new signage designed by local graphic designer, Hattie Clark. The Playground Appeal also be back.

FOIRP now has its new website:

If you would like to become a member and support FOIRP’s work in the parks complete the online form.

If you have any questions or ideas about the parks, you can contact them via the website or email the chairman of FOIRP at: