Solvay Halifax has given a £1,000 donation towards creation of a new Memorial Garden in nearby Stainland Memorial Park, timed to coincide with the centenary of World War 1.
Stainland and District Community Association – alongside Elland and Greetland branch of the Royal British Legion – are raising funds for the Memorial Garden at the park. As Judith Crossley, Chair of Stainland and District Community Association, explained, although the Park was originally created in memory of local men who fought in the war, it has no visual memorial, meaning many residents could be unaware of its significance.
“Stainland Memorial Park was opened in 1922 by Stainland Urban District Council to honour those who fought in the Great War, and was funded in part by donations from local residents,”said Judith. “The Park forms an important part of our local history and community and we want future generations to understand its significance – what better time than this centenary year to really make a difference to its future?”
A new planter has already been installed at the car park entrance displaying the Park’s name. Future plans include creating a memorial area, erection of a memorial dedicated to the fallen, and re-development of the entrance, which originally had a grand set of iron gates: it’s hoped enough funds will be raised to install new iron railings and an archway to make a more appropriate entrance for this special place.
The Community Association and British Legion have secured most of the funding through grants, including a special grant from Calderdale Council for centenary commemorations. However, local businesses and other organisations are being asked to help cover the estimated £2,700 shortfall. Solvay stepped forward with its £1,000 cheque after Site Director John Hamnett visited the park to review the development plans.
“It’s a beautiful area which is much enjoyed by local residents – but the connection with World War 1 and the people that lost their lives during that awful period does risk being forgotten,”he said. “Of course Solvay has its own wartime history too, and this donation gives us a chance to make that link: Solvay’s headquarters were in ‘neutral’ Belgium but were nevertheless occupied by German troops."
“Ernest Solvay also became president of the National Committee for Relief and Food, designed to support a suffering Belgian population during the war; days after Belgium was liberated, King Albert the First visited him at home to appoint him Minister of State.”
Other businesses or organisations wishing to support the Stainland Memorial Park appeal can visit WWW.STAINLANDDISTRICT.ORGor email STAINLANDDISTRICT@GMAIL.COM. The Stainland and District Community Association, which meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm, St Andrew's Church Stainland, is also interested in hearing from people with memories of the park, or photographs to share.