We need your help to Paint The Town Red in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent:
Fenton Town Hall and the magnificent Great War Memorial contained within are under serious threat of demolition.
Made from Minton tiles and 4m x 3m in dimension, the Great War Memorial remembers 498 men from Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent who gallantly fell in service of their country.
For many who were never recovered it is their grave.
Fenton's memorial to The Great War
Fenton Town Hall, fronted by the town's Cenotaph - unveiled 11.11.1922
The Town Hall, built for the people of Fenton in 1888 by philanthropist William Meath Baker, and till recently The Magistrates' Courts, has been put on the market for private development by its owners, The Ministry of Justice, for £500,000.
As the memorial is deeply embedded into the very fabric of the building in a wall at the top of a flight of stairs it CANNOT be relocated. This has been confirmed by the Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling MP.
And neither the memorial nor the Town Hall are protected as a recent application for listing status was REJECTED.
Consequently there could be severe repercussions for the hall, memorial and community should the building fall into the wrong hands.
The residents of Fenton are at a loss and have decided to remember these 498 heroes by scattering poppy seeds across the town, as we approach Armistice Day, on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th November. That way, by Summer 2014, the poppies will present to all a permanent reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by the 498 Fenton men who died.
Fenton is one of the 5% most deprived wards in the UK. We need your help to successfully complete this goal. Your donation will pay for poppy seeds and help provide an annual and the only commemoration to the 498 men should the tiled memorial be destroyed...
Fenton has long been dubbed, flippantly, the "Forgotten Town". This unfortunate label has been to the town's detriment. Painting the Town Red gives the chance of a re-brand - to the town of "Lest We Forget".
Once the scattering and planting of the poppies is complete there will be a post scattering "gathering" at Theartbay Gallery for a chance to warm the cockles with hot drinks, hot food and traditional Potteries delicacies. You can find the gallery at 26 Christchurch Street, ST4 3AD.
The greater the total we reach, the more poppy seeds and the more impressive the commemoration to these courageous men next year and thereafter. Thank you for your donations thus far.
SOME REWARDS -
Lest We Forget - Sid Kirkham
Valley of Light - Sid Kirkham
A Land Fit For Heroes - Steve Shaw
Section from Harry Davies - Landowners
Theartbay Gallery - venue for post poppy seed scattering gathering