New memorial garden in Wigan honouring fallen soldiers opens
The green space is for remembrance of the borough's military heroes.
Hindley Veterans Memorial Garden was officially unveiled last weekend after two years of hard work to transform a patch of waste ground into a beautiful space for reflection.
The centrepiece of the memorial garden, located next to the Bird i’th’ Hand pub, is a stainless steel monument with three sides bearing the insignia of the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force.
Hindley Veterans came up with the idea for the haven of tranquillity for the community and was delighted to have finally welcomed visitors into the garden after the Covid-19 pandemic made creating the garden extremely difficult.
Chairman of the group Bryan Hall said: “It was an amazing day and everybody was made up with the garden.
“This is the end of two long years. Covid knocked us back and meant we couldn’t get contractors on site, and then we had torrential rain which turned everything to mud so it looked like the Battle of the Somme at one point.
“It just seemed like setback after setback but at last the public can come in and enjoy it.
“It’s still an ongoing project and we will be adding things to the garden but it’s great to have it open. People have been asking us when it would be ready.”
Cath Pritchard, the widow of one of the four founder members of the Hindley Veterans group, was given the honour of officially opening the memorial garden.
Golborne Brass Band provided the soundtrack to proceedings while a number of dignitaries attended including the Mayor of Wigan Coun Yvonne Klieve.
Fund-raiser Jordan Gaskell also handed over the money he had brought in for the garden by doing an arduous 22-mile walk from Hindley to Southport.
The project has also been prominently supported by Hindley ward councillors, including through the provision of Brighter Borough funding.
Coun Paul Blay said creating the garden had brought people together.
He said: “This has been a real community effort. A lot of people have given their services for nothing.
“It has been a really worthwhile project and what is even more amazing is how we’ve managed to crack on during Covid. It has taken a lot of organisation and following the guidelines but we got there.
“We had a lovely day for the opening on Sunday and it is a place for quiet reflection and solitude.
“I think it’s going to be well used and respected by the community. Hindley Veterans is a big and very active group in our community and this is the icing on the cake. It is absolutely fabulous.”
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