On Wednesday 4th May the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Dame Lorna Muirhead visited Grange Hill in West Kirby. During the visit she was able to take in this much loved natural open space, the views it has to offer and the works completed by the many volunteers of the Friends of Grange Hill, the projects it has fundraised for and its aims to enhance the local Grade II listed War Memorial. Dame Lorna also met some of the descendants of the Johnstone family, 5 brothers, lost their lives as a result of Active Service during WW1.
During the visit we were able to display the black and white panoramic photograph of the views from the War Memorial that features the immediate garden area, the North Wales coast and the Wirral Peninsula round towards Hoylake. (Thanks to the staff at West Kirby Library for the loan of the photograph). Other images included how the Garden of Remembrance stood prior to the FofGH being formed and as work proceeded. Dame Lorna also witnessed volunteers at work removing one of the large Rhododendrons in one of the borders as well as some general gardening work. We were also able to present a fully restored bench within the garden based on the original benches. Alan Percy gave a briefing on the new in-ground LED light units that will provide enhanced illumination of the obelisk and statues at a much lower cost than the current arrangement. Prior to leaving Grange Hill Dame Lorna praised the work of all the volunteers, its fundraising works and finally unveiled another restored bench this one sited alongside the All Ability Pathway leading to the War Memorial. This bench provides commanding views across to Lancashire, Liverpool and the south Pennines.
Thank you to all who have contributed time to help in the restoration and improvement to the Garden of Remembrance and the wider hillside. Thanks also to the Committee of the Farmers Market group for the loan of their Gazebos and Hoylake Community Centre for the loan of tables for the visit.
Following the visit FofGH Trustees met with Mr Jim Cookson for initial discussions on the repairs and upgrade to the footpath within the Garden of Remembrance. The talks went well and I hope to provide more feedback in the future. In the meantime, during our next volunteer workday, I hope that we can expose the full width of the path to assist in a survey and assessment of works to be completed soon.
Whilst it is not possible to provide all the detail on the projects for the War Memorial and Garden of Remembrance, we do wish to let you know that the Trustees of FofGH are working alongside several officers from WBC to progress;
- The lighting project, that will see the removal of the old street lamppost that currently blights the eastern aspect of the Memorial.
- Refurbishment of the plinth on which it sits and the restoration of the footpath in the garden to allow access to those with restricted mobility.
- Repairs to the garden footpath.
- And, we are also investigating the possibility of a Webcam facility that will allow all members of the public to observe the wildlife of Grange Hill via the internet.
I am very grateful too for all the work of the Trustees who continue to organise events, assist in fundraising as well as helping on Volunteer days.
In addition, a further meeting is being held on Monday 23rd May at the Grange on Meols Drive, 7.00pm, Agenda to follow.