Residents flocked to Greenhill Gardens in Weymouth for the grand opening of its new sculpture.

A new steel arch named The Celebration Arch spans the entrance to the gardens from the promenade.

The sculpture has been commissioned by the Friends of Greenhill Gardens to honour the longest reigning monarch – Her Majesty the Queen.

It was formally opened by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dorset Angus Campbell.

Speaking at the grand opening Jane Chandler, chairman of the Friends of Greenhill Gardens said: “It has taken three and a half years for this particular project to be finally opened. The funding has been raised by the Friends’ Group from our concerts in the gardens and quiz nights. We also acknowledge generous donations from Weymouth & Portland Borough Council by way of a grant with other monies from Tesco’s, Weymouth Rotary Club, Melcombe Regis Rotary Club, Weymouth BID and private donations.”

Mrs Chandler also thanked Barbara and Graham Dubben who conceived the idea of the Arch and masterminded the whole project.

The arch has been designed by Tina Walton and constructed by Simon Meiklejohn from Herefordshire.

Mr Meiklejohn had previously undertaken commissions for several prestigious museums including the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow and the Royal Institute in London,

He is currently working on contracts for the Science Museum in London and the Imperial War Museum in Manchester.

The Friends of Greenhill Gardens is a body of volunteers who work with the local council to maintain the beautiful Greenhill Gardens. In particular they encourage locals and visitors to enjoy its facilities. A few years ago they funded a Bandstand in the Gardens which is now in constant use for musical events throughout the Summer.

Upcoming events include the Decadettes on May 19, Farrago on June 2, the Wyke Ukadelics on June 16 and the local group Grand Reunion on June 23.

Sun 19 May – The Decadettes

Sun 2 June -- Local Weymouth group FARRAGO

Sun 16 June -- The WykeUkadelics

Sun 23 June -- Local Group Grand Re-Union

Sun 30 June -- The Silhouettes

Sun 14 July -- Entertainer Tony Lowe

Sun 21 July -- The Omega Project

Sun 28 July -- Entertainer Tony Lowe

Sun 4 August -- Entertainer Darron Garnett

Sun 11 August – Weymouth Ukuleleans

Sun 18 August 11am – 4pm --FOGG SUMMER FAYRE with The Silhouettes, Sophie Green & Franz Atkinson and pupils from Twirl Academy

Sun 25 August -- Entertainer Tony Lowe

Sun 1 September -- The Decadettes