Your chance to have a say in the future of the Mem

August 26 2016

The Friends of The Memorial Ground (FOMG), set up in May to secure a fitting future for the Horfield site, held their first Constitutional Meeting last month and are planning future activities to ensure a secure future for the historic site.

The Friends of The Memorial Ground (FOMG), set up in May to secure a fitting future for the Horfield site, held their first Constitutional Meeting last month and are planning future activities to ensure a secure future for the historic site.

The group are hopeful that a great future for Bristol’s most famous sports ground beckons, starting perhaps with a key role next year, as Bristol becomes the UK’s European City of Sport. 

FOMG Chairperson, Jamie Carstairs, said: “If the history of the famous war memorial sports ground is more widely known, it would be better loved for what it is – and for what it could be. Anyone wanting to preserve a community green space with great sport heritage and history is welcome to join FOMG.  We are also keen to gather stories about the Mem.”

After many years of controversy over redevelopment plans, a new stadium for Bristol Rovers is to be built at UWE and Rovers FC plan to leave the Memorial Stadium. However, despite successfully fighting plans to build a giant Sainsbury’s on the site, there is still uncertainty about the Memorial Ground’s future and concern locally that an unsuitable brownfield development may yet threaten the Memorial.

FOMG will strive to secure a future for the sports ground which respects what it is: Bristol's largest – most significant and most effective – war memorial. The original purpose and function of the former Bristol Rovers site was as a place of remembrance for Bristol rugby players killed in both world wars. The Covenant on the land restricts its use to sport or recreation and the war memorial was intended to inspire Bristolians. 

Representatives from The Bishopston Society were at the meeting and are keen for local people to contribute their ideas about the ground’s future to their survey http://www.bishopstonsociety.org.uk/news/other-news/833-memorial-ground-survey. 

Sporting Memories, who run reminiscence workshops for Senior Citizens, attended plus other new members including local residents interested in honouring the fallen, and preserving the heritage sport site, in community welfare, and the economic well being of the area, as well as those with concerns about previous unsuitable planning proposals and air pollution. Some local councillors, Thangam Debbonaire MP and the Royal British Legion are in support of FOMG’s plans.

Membership of FOMG costs £5 per year. For an application form and any enquiries, email FriendsoftheMemorialGround@gmail.com.