A new community group has been set up to ensure a fitting future for the Memorial Ground (Memorial Stadium). At the Friends of the Memorial Ground (FOMG) meeting on 18th July, the group’s Constitution was approved, officers were elected, and we discussed future activities.
The aims of Friends of the Memorial Ground (FOMG) are:
- To inform the wider public about the founding purpose of the Memorial Ground as a place of remembrance for the more than three hundred Bristol rugby players killed in the 1914-1918 war.
- To ensure a future for the Mem in keeping with the founding intentions: i.e. that the land be “used for football or other athletic sport or recreation.”
- To work with other local, and national, organisations to preserve and develop the Memorial Ground as a place for remembrance, and as a place for sport and recreation.
- To promote the value which the Memorial Ground holds for the Bristol community, its culture, heritage, economy, and well-being.
FOMG would like to liaise with the owners of the Memorial Ground, with a view to securing a future for the sports ground which respects what it is: Bristol’s largest – most significant and most effective – war memorial. Sadly it seems that the implications of the sentence above are yet again being overlooked by its owners; and the site is talked about in terms of real estate, as a brown field development site. The famous war memorial sports ground is run down and its community worth, history, significance and status misunderstood, and even ignored.
This year Bristol’s high profile Remembrance Sunday civic event will be held at the Memorial Ground on 13th November. This event is in addition to the Bristol Rugby Club and Bristol Rovers Football Club remembrance ceremony held every year on Armistice Day (11th November) at the entrance gates. FOMG plan to have some sort of display about the Memorial Ground’s history nearby, if this can be allowed.
In 2017, Bristol will be the UK’s European City of Sport and the city’s foremost war memorial sports ground is likely to play an active part in this.
FOMG support the plan to build a new stadium for BRFC at UWE.
FOMG have been informed that a recent application to nominate the whole 3.3 hectare site to the Local List has been successful, and we are awaiting formal confirmation of this. This is encouraging news from Bristol City Council, who have already declared the sports stadium an Asset of Community Value.
Membership of FOMG costs £5 a year. For enquiries, or to obtain a membership application form, please email FriendsoftheMemorialGround@gmail.com.