Century-old memorial field could be revamped under new plans
- Credit: Roger Hedley Lewis
Plans to revamp a memorial field which has stood in a Suffolk town for nearly 100 years have gone out for consultation.
The memorial field in Saxmundham is at the centre of a new survey, almost a century after it was opened to the public.
Like many Suffolk towns, Saxmundham was looking for an appropriate way to commemorate its lost soldiers after the First World War.
The town was initially divided over the idea of having a memorial field with many people keen on a more traditional memorial outside the Market Hall.
Two working groups came up with plans for both memorials with the town eventually voting for the memorial field which was purchased following fundraising and was opened to the public in 1922.
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However, due to a lack of funds, plans for memorial gates at the field never came to fruition.
Since then the town has put up a more formal memorial in Fromus Square which was recently restored by DS Memorials.
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Now the town council is turning its attention to the memorial field and is asking residents for their thoughts about what should be done there.
"We are looking for ideas from people," said town councillor Roger Hedley Lewis.
"There's children's equipment we are looking to beef up.
"Our new environment coordinator Amy is now looking at how we are going to improve the hedgerows and trees."
Suffolk Wildlife Trust is also involved in the plans to ensure that biodiversity is not comprised for public space.
The council is hoping to commemorate the centenary of the opening of the field next year and has asked residents what would be the best way to do this - whether it be through new signage explaining the field's history or a new landscaped area around the park's existing memorial stone.
Another possible option would be to complete one of the original plans for the field, 100 years later.
"We would like to get some memorial gates," he said.
Mr Hedley Lewis said that the changes to the field would happen in stages over the next few years.
Residents can pick up a copy of the survey from the town council offices or complete the survey online.