Ask William to save Memorial Stadium, mayor is urged

August 04 2014

AN open letter has been written to the Bristol mayor, requesting he nominates the Rovers ground for inclusion in a programme - supported by Prince William - to protect the future of memorial playing fields and parks.

AN open letter has been written to the Bristol mayor, requesting he nominates the Rovers ground for inclusion in a programme - supported by Prince William - to protect the future of memorial playing fields and parks.
As the president of Fields in Trust, Prince William made a recent speech appealing to councils, in the year of the WW1 centenary, to elect at least one memorial field to be protected within each local authority.
In a letter signed by anti-supermarket campaigner Jamie Carstairs and TRASHorfield, it said: "The outstanding candidate from Bristol would be the Memorial Ground - our city’s largest war memorial, established as a tribute to the 300 Bristolian rugby players who fell in the First World War.
"This inspirational war memorial sports ground was intended to be a permanent memorial to their sacrifice, but is currently threatened by property speculators, who intend to demolish it to make way for a Sainsbury’s superstore."
It continued: "The council has so far abjectly failed to protect this community and heritage asset, the spiritual home of Bristol rugby. The ground is a much-cherished green lung in the midst of a densely built up north Bristol community.
"Now is an opportunity for the mayor [George Ferguson] and the council to make amends and put forward the Memorial Ground for inclusion in the Prince’s Fields in Trust programme."
Rovers are needing to sell the ground to Sainsbury's in order to fund a new 21,000-seater stadium in Frenchay.
In the speech made by the Duke of Cambridge, he said: "These spaces were designed to encourage both stillness and movement, inward reflection and outward play … Every moment of play or leisure that takes place on a memorial field is, in a way, an act of remembrance."
An application was previously put forward by Mr Carstairs in a bid to list the Rovers Memorial Stadium as an English Heritage site. However, it was rejected on the grounds that it did not meet the criteria for listing.