Polegate’s field of memories

Polegate memorial field renaming ceremony. Lord Lieutenant Peter Field, Norman Baker, Michael Clewett and VIPS

Polegate memorial field renaming ceremony. Lord Lieutenant Peter Field, Norman Baker, Michael Clewett and VIPS

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A special event has been held in Polegate to celebrate one of the town’s park’s becoming a Centenary Field.

The Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Peter Field, unveiled a new entrance sign to the War Memorial Recreation Ground on Wannock Road on Friday after it was given the protection by charity Fields in Trust.

The initiative, in conjunction with the Royal British Legion, aims to protect war memorial playing fields, parks and green spaces created in memory of people who lost their lives in the First World War, and create a living legacy.

Polegate Town Council applied to join the trust and this was granted, meaning the playground will now be protected from development in perpetuity.

Polegate was the first town in the UK to achieve the status for one of its parks. Mayor Councillor Michael Clewett said, “The event went extremely well and we were blessed with a break in the weather.

“There was a good attendance and the presence of Peter Field and his wife was much appreciated.

“The new Polegate flag, commissioned by me out of my Mayoral fund, was liked by all.”

In a mark of respect for those in the area who gave their lives in the First World War, balloons were released and a new plaque was installed giving the names of the men.

Cllr Clewett added, “In addition, and at the end of the proceedings, 33 helium filled balloons were released, each representing one of the local men killed in the Great War.

“Also, a new plaque was installed giving the names of the men, the war memorial itself being inside the parish church and consequently not seen by many although I had a notice put on the outside of the Town Hall to tell folks where it is, and also that the World War Two plaque is located similarly.” A trustee of the scheme was in attendance at the ceremony as well as local MP Norman Baker, and relatives of those who originally gifted the land to Polegate.

A spokesman for Polegate Town Council said last month, “This initiative will secure the future. The council made an early application to the trust and this has now been approved and the Deed of Dedication has now been duly signed by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.”