Garden of Remembrance opens

Tuesday November 30 2010

Lichfield District Council has unveiled the newly restored and refurbished Garden of Remembrance in time for Armistice Day service.

The Royal British Legion held a memorial service at the Garden of Remembrance at 11am on 11 November 2010.

The service was the first time the memorial garden has been open to the public, since it was closed earlier in the year to restore the garden to its former glory.

The whole of the Garden of Remembrance has been refurbished as part of Lichfield District Council's and Lichfield City Council's multi-million pound project to transform key historic parks in Lichfield, which also includes Beacon Park and Minster Pool and Walk.

The first priority was to rebuild and underpin the Garden of Remembrance's gate pillars and balustrade wall, which were subsiding and in danger of collapse. 

The works also included restoring the war memorial, gates, lion statues, sundial and urns, as well as installing a new ramp and steps into the garden and relaying the paths.

A Remembrance Sunday service, organised by Lichfield City Council and the Royal British Legion, took place at the newly restored Garden of Remembrance on 14 November.

Local dignitaries, including Staffordshire Deputy Lieutenant, Lesley Knighton, Lichfield City Mayor, Cllr Christopher Spruce, Vice Chairman of Lichfield District Council, Cllr Bernard Derrick, Michael Fabricant MP and representatives of the military, police and Royal British Legion, placed wreaths around the war memorial.  

At the end of the service, Lichfield City Mayor, Cllr Christopher Spruce, spoke of his delight at the quality of the restoration works. He said: "The service was a chance for us all to reflect on everyone who has suffered or died in conflict in the service of their country. To hold it in the newly restored Garden of Remembrance made the day even more memorable.

"For many years this garden has not been at its best. From the new sundial and sensitively restored war memorial, to the splendid new entrance and ramp, the garden is truly transformed. I hope everyone will find it a space to spend some quiet time in contemplation of our Armed Forces and those that have gone before them."

Councillor Neil Roberts, Lichfield District Council's Cabinet Member for Development Services, added: "It is wonderful to see people enjoying the Garden of Remembrance once more, and we are all pleased with the results. The restoration will preserve this important memorial for future generations and is a stunning tribute to our brave service men and women."

These works have been possible thanks to £3.919 million funding from Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund, as part of their Parks for People programme.