The Callister Trust are looking forward to welcoming visitors to their Garden again on Heritage Weekend 2020.
The Garden, which is located on Slatey Road in Birkenhead, is a real example of hidden nature, and many of those who live nearby are unaware of it.
It all began with Mr E F Callister, a Birkenhead businessman back in the early 1900’s. In 1922, when Europe was battling a lethal virus, his wife and daughter unfortunately lost their lives to the Spanish flu pandemic.
Three years later, a charity was set up in his name with the purpose of working for the welfare of girls and young women in Birkenhead. After Edward Callister’s death in 1931, the trustees bought this piece of land on Slatey Road to run an outdoor club for girls and young women in the Garden throughout the summer.
The Garden was a safe space for many of these young women for a long time. The space was used practically throughout the 20th century and more recently, was used to run a trainee apprenticeship scheme under the auspices of ‘Serve Wirral’ in the 1980’s and 90’s. However, after this, the garden was unfortunately boarded up and neglected for nearly twenty years.
In February 2018, the charity was given into the care of new independent trustees and for two years now, volunteers from the Callister Trust have worked tirelessly to clear the garden.
In Autumn 2019, the trust welcomed 200 visitors to the garden for Heritage open weekend, ran a Forest Schools family day, as well as a Women’s Wellbeing day.
Architecture students from Liverpool JMU have designed a Pavilion for the garden as part of their final year course that hopefully will enable the garden to be used all year round. The trust has already begun raising funds for the new building in the hopes that the use of the Pavilion in the Garden’s serene and secluded atmosphere will be especially beneficial for the welfare of girls and women.
Cathy Warren, Chairperson at the Callister Trust said:
“We are delighted with the progress that has been made in returning the garden to its former beauty. The trustees would like to thank to all our volunteers for their hard work and to thank many local community groups for their interest and encouragement.”
The Callister Garden will be open on Saturday, September 12th from 10am-3pm (We will be following government guidelines on Covid-19.)