In 1998, a local Supermarket tried to buy about a quarter of the Gardens to use as a car park. This plan caused outrage in the town. A public meeting was called, and the campaign to "Save Ashton Gardens" was born.
This led to St Annes first ever protest march, over 1,000 people - everyone from pushchairs to pensioners - marched through the town to demonstrate their opposition.
The Gardens were listed on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, and the Council narrowly rejected the plan to sell the them.
Everyone thought they were safe once again so "Save Ashton Gardens" became the Supporters of Ashton Gardens, and turned to fund raising for improvements in the Gardens.
But then new plans to build on a smaller area of the Gardens were submitted, and SOAG once again found itself defending the gardens.
In recent years, planning permission has been granted for four separate developments on parts of the Gardens, SOAG has campaigned against any part of the Gardens being sold. Although we have not been able to prevent a determined Council from selling part of the gardens, we have succeeded in establishing that the gardens must be registered as a charitable trust. This will help to protect them in the future.
Our archivist is gradually compiling a book that tells - in their own words - the story of the people involved in the first Save Ashton Gardens Campaign. If you were involved, or went to any of the meetings and would like to tell the story of how you became involved and why
Whether it is a paragraph or a chapter, we would like to hear from you. We can either have a chat and compose your story from that, or if you prefer, you can write it yourself. For more details please contact the