TRAMORE Development Trust, the Coastguard Cultural Centre, and Everyevent.ie are determined to light up Tramore this year. The stunning winter wonderland display in Lafcadio Hearn Gardens is created by John Grubb from Everyevent.ie and plans are underway for John to create a magical lights display in the grounds of the Coastguard Cultural Centre this Christmas.
The Centre has closed its coffee shop doors to the public, in line with public health guidelines, but they have adapted by creating a coffee hatch, with ample outdoor seating to take in the ocean-view vistas over the Doneraile.
Louise Grubb from Tramore Development Trust spoke to the Waterford News & Star last week, “Our plan is to invest what money we have into lighting the place up. If we have lighting on the windows, or in the gardens, you will be able to see that from the prom. We hope that the lights will bring people in, if restrictions allow, and if they don’t allow, then the lights will lift people’s spirits. As soon as the clocks go back, we want to have light.”
In any given year, the Coastguard Cultural Centre plays host to art shows in the large upstairs room, together with regular yoga classes. Downstairs is a haven of artwork and local craft from mostly Co. Waterford artists.
The pandemic has been a reinvention challenge for all industries, particularly the hospitality industry. To that end, the Coastguard Centre are going live with an online shop called Coastguard Creatives. All craft pieces can be browsed online, and the large upstairs room of the Centre will be transformed into a retail shop from November 1. It will be run completely by the artists themselves, and facilities such as Click and Collect will be possible from the website for this shop.
When consumers come to collect or to choose their item from the retail store, the wide expanse of gardeninvitingly slopes down towards the sea, dotted with picnic benches and areas to sit with a coffee or a cake. As I speak with Louise and Anne Harper from Tramore Development Trust, people of all ages are sitting with a cup. This, I am told, is a daily occurence, people take solace from the views, they take solace in the safety of being outdoors but still with others in a familiar setting.
“With thanks to LEO and Marie Power, the Sea Gardener, we have been able to get all the craftspeople working together. We have everything from Noel Whelan Furniture to Kiki Roosli Art and so much more due to go upstairs into Coastguard Creatives,” said Louise.
Architect Anne Harper is one of many driving this project and her passion is clear to “keep this important building going. It’s important for our community but also for the entire town to keep using this beautiful building and to build on a very important community facility within. Our mental health is more important now than ever and people need a community space, they need light and they need the benefits that the seaviews can offer.”
A Plan B is firmly in place with lighting an option for visitors outdoors in the gardens and the courtyard, even if a full lockdown is imposed during the Christmas season. The new shop can be browsed online here