Campaigners hope for Woodley war memorialBy Jon Nurse
November 22, 2012
Campaigners fundraising for a war memorial hope one can be built in the next year after the town centre missed out on a Remembrance service.
Royal British Legion organisers were unable to hold the event on Remembrance Sunday, leading to fresh call for a memorial in Woodley.
Colin Lott, Woodley War Memorial Project founder, said: “For years there has always been a service there.
“We went to the car boot sale in the town centre and encouraged people to observe a two minute silence.
“Everyone observed it, it’s just a pity it wasn’t a service.
“This is the whole idea of the project – so there is a place to meet for that kind of occasion.”
Last year two primary schools joined the Armistice Day service to commemorate Woodley’s war heroes.
Town centre manager Jacques Lherbier said: “The British Legion usually does a service and hundreds come.
“This year, because it fell on a Sunday, they said they couldn’t come to the town centre as they have limited resources.
“The war memorial project group said they’d like to do something. We have a car boot sale that runs every second and fourth Sunday of the month so I arranged some space which generated a lot of interest.
“It was only a small affair and there was a problem with their sound system which was a shame.”
Norman Freeman, president of the Winnersh branch of the Legion, added: “As Remembrance was on a Sunday we were involved in meetings at our local churches, we could not be in two places at once, much to our disappointment.
“Remembrance services take place around Woodley and the town council places a wreath at St John’s Church.”
Fundraising efforts for the £25,000 monument have been going for 16 months, raising more than £12,500.
Reading FC donated a signed shirt that was raffled at the Inn on the Park to raise more than £200 for the project on Remembrance Sunday.
Mr Lott said: “The winner was a pub regular who was very excited to get it. He has chosen to leave it on the pub wall and is thinking about re-raffling it for the charity.
“We are open for new fundraising ideas and are looking to get more people involved.”
He added: “We are always looking for donations. We are just over half way and have plans to get it sorted for next year. It’s been a slow plod but we’ll do it.”
Woodley Town Council commissioned a landscape architect earlier this year to provide designs for a civic area, including the monument, at Woodley Memorial Ground in Headley Road.
Mr Lott is asking for new or nearly new items for a sale and auction in the precinct in February.
“Anybody with glasses sitting unused in a box, unwanted birthday presents or an old set of golf clubs can pass them to us for our pitch,” he said.
People can contact the project on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07770 944098. For more information go to www.wwmp.co.uk