New campaign group for Memorial Ground

May 26 2016
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New campaign group for Memorial Ground

A NEW campaign group, the Friends of The Memorial Ground, is being set up to secure a fitting future for the Horfield site.

Jamie Carstairs, speaking on behalf of the group, said: “Bristol is honoured to have this rare war memorial, a sports ground. The Memorial Ground was intended to inspire Bristolians and to last forever. It is still protected by a Covenant on the land, restricting its use to sport or recreation. The Memorial Ground is a major sport heritage site, and a site of remembrance for the sacrifices made in both world wars.”

Local residents and traders are delighted that the threat of a giant Sainsbury’s supermarket is no more.

Bristol Rovers FC, and the club’s fans, are celebrating a change in fortune and promotion to League One and the new owner of Rovers, Wael Al Qadi, is also the custodian of Bristol’s war memorial sports ground.

A new stadium for Bristol Rovers is to be built at UWE and Rovers FC plan to leave the Memorial Stadium.

There is uncertainty about the Memorial Ground’s future and concern locally that an unsuitable development may yet threaten the Memorial.

The Friends of The Memorial Ground is being set up to promote a positive, community use for the site, in keeping with its history and looking forward to the future. Jamie Carstairs added: “The Bristol Rugby Memorial Ground is a unique, living, dynamic, war memorial, created to remember the 300 rugby players who lost their lives in the First World War.

It is not brownfield development land. “The land was donated to the rugby club to be a war memorial. In the early 1920s, Bristolians paid for the leveling of the pitch and for the equipping of the original stadium. It was, and could be again, the pride of our community.” Last year, the Memorial Stadium was listed as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ by Bristol City Council after an application was submitted to the council by the Bishopston Society.

The Bishopston Society is setting up a survey on their website to ask how the community might benefit from the Memorial Ground and are would like local people to contribute their ideas. For any further information, or to get involved, contact FriendsoftheMemorialGround@ gmail.com