War memorial expansion plans loom in Longridge

Discussions are underway to turn Longridge Recreation Ground into a designated area to remember those who have died in conflict.

Wednesday, 9th May 2018, 9:38 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th May 2018, 9:41 am
2013: The town gathers for the annual remembrance day parade, Led by the Longridge Band through the town, Father David Chinnery takes a short service and wreath laying at the War Memorial, the parade then goes to St Paul's Church for main service. Photo by Anthony Farran.

The future of the site, situated south of Berry Lane Medical Centre and Longridge CE Primary School and north of Kestor Lane, is the subject of discussion in the town and Ribble Valley Council headquarters in Clitheroe.

Council Leader and Longridge Coun Ken Hind, Deputy borough Mayor Stuart Carefoot, Jamie Leeson from the War Memorial Trust and senior council officers met late last month to discuss “the possibility of designating and preserving the entire Recreation Ground as a War Memorial”.

In a statement, Longridge Town Council added: “Coun Hind has now requested that the officers prepare a report which will then be submitted to the Ribble Valley Council communities committee for further discussion.”

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Ribble Valley Council Leader, Coun Ken Hind.

Coun Hind said: “My view, which I shall urge upon the Council, and that shared by the Mayor is that the recreation ground should be protected and rededicated to the 74 Longridge men who gave their lives in the First World War.

"By taking this action we can make sure the recreation ground will be preserved for the use of future generations."

And Coun Hind is also in favour of renaming the grounds to a more appropriate title.

Coun Hind added: “We propose a new plaque be put in place and should consider renaming the ground Centenary Fields.”

The Last Post being played at Longridge's 2013 remembrance parade. Photo by Anthony Farran.

The move comes after Longridge Town Council’s approval of a number of commemorative ways to remember the war dead within the recreation ground.

In February a memorial stone on the recreation area – to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War – was announced by the borough council after Town Coun David Moon submitted the plans to commemorate the men of Longridge who died in the Great War.

And more recently Coun Moon applied to Longridge Town Council for two new memorial benches in the ground following a request to the town council by local businessman Charles Carefoot.

One bench will be next to the new recreation ground memorial and the second will be next to the existing memorial at the Old Station Buildings.

A council spokesman said: “The benches will be constructed in metal and the back of the benches will comprise artwork with red poppies and the wording ‘Lest we forget 1914 – 1918’.”

In addition to this, Coun Hind is appealing to locate the original 1914 – 18 memorial plaque from 1926 which has been lost over the years.

Coun Hind said: “If anyone has got it will they please return it to the council.”