The home and soul of Bristol Rugby is discussed by Mike Rafter, former Bristol Rugby player and captain, and England International, in a moving BBC recording (6 November 2014), entitled “Bristol Rovers FC, Bristol: Immortalising History.”
The World War One At Home piece includes Bristol Rugby Club fans saying: “A ground for the fans … a homely ground … with the crowd on the edge of the pitch … makes you feel part of everything … the most welcoming ground, the best atmosphere … everything that rugby should be … it’s a ground not a stadium.”
If you liked the above recording, you may like this short video: Ninety-Three Years At The Mem (6 June 2014). The strength of feeling for the war memorial sport ground can also be gauged by these Bristol Rugby fans’ memories.
See also In memory of sporting heroes lost (Bristol Post, 15 April 2014).
The Memorial Ground also features in Rovers fans’ memories, in this entertaining blog thread from the Bristol Rovers Independent Fans’ Forum: The Museum of Gas.
“To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.” (Margaret Fairless Barber).
Why should some people, who should know better, get away with trampling on these memories?
The BBC pose this key question: if a supermarket, some houses and a memorial garden replace the famous sports ground, will the original reason for the Memorial Ground being built be lost?
Let’s support Mike Rafter: Let’s save, renovate and celebrate Bristol’s great sporting, heritage and community asset – and pass it on.