‘Hypocrite’ claim over store chain’s trenches truce ad

December 01 2014

A LOCAL campaigner has condemned the Sainsbury's Christmas truce advert as "cynical" and "hypocritical" because of its plans to build on a war memorial site.

A LOCAL campaigner has condemned the Sainsbury's Christmas truce advert as "cynical" and "hypocritical" because of its plans to build on a war memorial site.

The supermarket chain's advert depicts the truce agreed 100 years ago on Christmas Day between Allied and German front-line soldiers.

Sainsbury's has faced opposition over its plans to build a supermarket in place of the Bristol Rovers Memorial Stadium, which was built to commemorate the rugby players who died in the First World War.

The football club wants to sell the Horfield stadium to the supermarket chain to fund a new £40 million stadium in Frenchay.

The rugby club has since moved to the Bristol City ground in Ashton Court.

Jamie Carstairs said: "The advert is saccharine and cynical, but also staggeringly hypocritical [and] Sainsbury’s still insists it will bulldoze Bristol’s famous WWI war memorial sports ground. It is the city’s most effective war memorial.

"The determined campaign for the Memorial Ground carries on. Let’s talk about the ground’s future, perhaps inspired by the founders’ aim that it should be for sport or recreation forever."

The supermarket has faced a series of challenges from campaign group Traders and Residents Against Sainsbury's Horfield.

The group believes that the supermarket chain will have a detrimental impact on the Gloucester Road, residents' lives and the environment.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We are very sensitive to the historical importance of the Bristol Rovers site and consulted extensively when we drew up our plans.

"We worked through the plans with the Bristol Former Rugby Players’ Society, who showed their support during the planning process.
"Our plans preserve the memorial stone and the memorial gates and a new public square dedicated to the memory of former Bristol rugby players is at the heart of our plans for the site."