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Lest We Forget

Press release   •   Jan 17, 2014 10:34 GMT

Rochdale Memorial Gardens is to undergo a £35,000 improvement programme ahead of commemorations for the centenary of the outbreak of World War One in July.

The improvement works will include:

  • Replacing the six lime trees either side of the sunken garden steps with small birch trees to avoid further root damage to the retaining wall and repairing existing cracks;
  • Tree planting around the orchard near the police station;
  • Digging out the rose beds and replacing the soil and flowers in the regimental colours of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers;
  • Removing a diseased tree overshadowing the rose beds and planting replacement trees;
  • Improving and redesigning the flower beds to make them more formal and structured;
  • Removing some shrubs and replacing with turf; Installing handrails by the steps into the sunken garden.

Councillor Jacqui Beswick, Cabinet Member for Place and Regulation, said: “This is an important year for Rochdale Memorial Gardens as it will be a focus for commemorations for the centenary of the outbreak of World War One in July.

“The plans are not for a full scale redesign, but a collection of actions that together will improve the appearance of the Rochdale Memorial Gardens both now and in the future.”

Consultations have taken place with the Friends of Broadfield Park (whose remit includes the Memorial Gardens), The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, Royal British Legion and ward councillors to come up with initial ideas for the makeover. The proposals were then approved by the Rochdale Clean and Green Group and Rochdale Township Committee.

Councillor Cecile Biant, Chair of Rochdale Township, said: “The conflict 100 years ago changed the face of the world, causing pain and suffering to millions. The sacrifices of those that took part in the Great War, as well as other conflicts, were foremost in Members’ minds when Rochdale Township approved funding for improvements to the Memorial Garden.”

Colonel Mike Glover, Regimental Secretary (Lancashire) and Commandant Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force for The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, said: “The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, formerly the Lancashire Fusiliers, are proud of their long association with Rochdale. Many volunteers from Rochdale served as Fusiliers during the First World War and we should not forget that young men from Rochdale continue to serve in the Regiment and have done Rochdale proud in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The crowds that turned out to greet the First Battalion as they paraded through the streets of Rochdale just before Christmas proved to me that the Regiment to this day remains at the heart of Rochdale.”

A public display of the scheme will take place on 22 January, from 2-4pm, at Rochdale Town Hall, with any suggestions and amendments for the design considered.

For further information or to make a suggestion for the Memorial Garden project e-mail ian.trickett@rochdale.gov.uk

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