War memorial campaign on award shortlist

October 07 2016

THE successful effort by school children to have the war memorial in Fishponds Park officially listed is in line for a national award.

Memorial

 

THE successful effort by school children to have the war memorial in Fishponds Park officially listed is in line for a national award.

Pupils from Fishponds CE Academy persuaded Historic England to designate the memorial as a listed building so it is protected by law and cannot be altered without consent.

Now the children’s campaign has been shortlisted by Historic England for its Angel Awards, which celebrate people who have helped save important buildings and places.

It is one of four contenders in the young people’s contribution to heritage category of the awards, which were founded by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

A panel of experts will decide the winners, which will be announced on October 31. An overall favourite award category is being decided by a public vote. You can support the academy on the Angel Award page on the Historic England website. Voting closes on October 12.

The Fishponds children started working on the project in 2014, the centenary of the beginnng of World War One. They worked with Michael Gorely, Historic England’s local education manager, and Bristol-based military historian Jeremy Banning to investigate the stories of the names on the memorial as part of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Living Memory project.

They also carried out a condition survey of the memorial, a bronze statue of an infantry soldier set on a granite plinth, which was put up in 1920.

The children wrote persuasive letters to Historic England urging that the memorial be included in the organisation’s bid to add 2,500 war memorials to the National Heritage List for England. Fishponds was the first school in the country to make a successful application to the list. Representatives also attended the All Party Parliamentary Group for Civic Societies at Westminster to tell members about their project.

Mr Gorely said: “The children demonstrated a true commitment to the project in their impressive presentation.”

Pupils at May Park Primary in Fishponds are now engaged in a similar project with the CWGC to research their local war memorial.