The Ashington Memorial Garden was developed and financially supported by Ashington Town Council working with key partners the Ashington Branch of the Royal British Legion, the Western Front Association, local schools and historians.
The Ashington Memorial Garden provides an area for quiet reflection recognising the service given, and sacrifice made, in times of conflict by the Ashington community.
At the centrepiece of the Garden, designed by Hugh Massey Architects, is the War Memorial incorporating the 'Unknown Soldier' created by sculptor Tom Maley in 2001. A new Memorial recognising conflicts after 1945 is also centrally located next to the War Memorial.
Over 1,000 people from the Ashington community gave their lives in the World Wars. Extensive research by local historians enabled the development of new plaques for the Memorial, correcting significant omissions and errors and fully recognising those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. We thank Margaret Allison, David Easton, Alan Grint, Gloria Leitch, Barry Mead and David Wise for their considerable efforts in the development of the plaques.
Ashington Town Council, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, has also worked with local schools to develop information boards that are placed within the Garden (pictured) on a variety of military themes. As part of this element Ashington school children attended the theatre production ‘Notes from the Front’ based on experiences of a WWI soldier, visited the Otterburn WWI military training trenches and met with military veterans. Electronic images of the Information Boards can be found below.
Ashington Town Council and the Ashington Branch of the Royal British Legion would like to thank the following organisations who provided financial support:
- Ashington Community Forum
- Heritage Lottery Fund
- Northumberland County Council (Ashington Ward Councillors - Cllrs Brian Gallacher, Lynne Grimshaw, Jim Lang, Ken Parry and Mark Purvis)
- The Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust
- The Percy Hedley 1990 Charitable Trust
- The RW Mann Trust
- The Sir James Knott Trust
- The 1989 Willan Charitable Trust
- UK Coal - Potland Burn Community Benefits Fund
The project began in 2014 on the site of the previous war memorial and physical works were completed in October 2015. A Re-dedication Service for the War Memorial took place on Friday 6 November.
The Service was filmed by the young people of Ashington High School and Northumberland YMCA who also interviewed some of those involved with the project. The films can be seen below and we thank the young people for their efforts.
The principal contractor was Brambledown Landscape Services Ltd with support from Azure Printing, Barry Mead Heritage Consultancy and Rivermeade Signs Ltd.
Ashington Town Council thank all who contributed in anyway to the project.