REFLECTING on Christine Thackray’s letter (April 14) on the demise of Bournemouth’s Winter Gardens, I also recall the much-loved heartbeat of this venue – more than an orchestral hall.

A multi-purpose building with acoustics for each and every occasion, which I had attended with my girlfriend Kath Shepherd, a trainee nurse, as teenagers.

It would be a meeting in the Winter Gardens on a cold January evening in 1997, which pulled at the heartstrings, when an estimated 2,000 loyal Cherries fans, crowded into the concert hall to save AFC Bournemouth going out of business.

Track-suited players collected more than £30,000. One of the young players carrying a collection bucket, was Eddie Howe.

As the meeting closed, manager Mel Machin, with tears in his eyes, repeated again and again: “You wonderful people. Together, anything is possible.”


Whitby Crescent, Broadstone