On Saturday 10th November 2018 the Poole Park War Memorial was officially re-opened by the Mayor of Poole, Cllr Sean Gabriel. The three hour event included the unveiling of three new information panels around the memorials, the opportunity for people to paint pebbles and leave them in the memorial garden and learn more about the restoration works.
The Mayor’s words told of the historic context of the War Memorials and the attempts made by one of his predecessors, Mayor Herbert Carter, who made personal donations and went to great lengths to ensure Poole had a town memorial, opened in 1927; then followed detail on the works to restore and conserve the historic landscape and memorials and the various organisations who have supported this such as the War Memorial Trust, National Lottery players and suppliers such as Suttle Stone and the Street Scene works teams.
The Memorial cross was wrapped in red ribbon, as were many of the nearby trees; the cross was then unwrapped by two artists from the Valise Noir Storytelling Theatre, as part of a stunning performance dressed as WWI nurses. Engaging with the audience, creating a dramatic performance recounting love, loss and hope for those that went to fight during World War One. Postcards listing the names of those from Poole who fell were also handed out during a dramatic soundscape created by the reading of the names.
The short video below plays images from the ceremony, overlaid by a soundtrack of voices reading out the names of some of the 711 people of Poole that fell during World War One.
Somewhat fittingly the performance and event was subject at times to heavy downpours, the audience however stayed in place and played their part. The memorials are now much more accessible following the removal of steps and laying of new paths in Purbeck stone, alongside a new path from Parkstone road. There are also new roses in the planter and coping stones alongside that are much more in-keeping with the original design.
Thanks to everyone who came along to the event and we hope park users enjoy the newly restored memorials and landscape.
- On Sunday 11th November the annual Remembrance Parade and service took place at the War Memorial, drawing a crowd of approximately 1,000 people.
- For details of the War Memorial improvements please visit our project page