People like Michelle are making Fenton Town Hall are fantastic community facility, putting life and vitality back into the neighbourhood and preserving the future of Fenton’s priceless war memorials.
The MoJ are seriously considering selling the building, along with its First World War memorial off to private developers at a LOSS when they could be part of an amazing transformation.
Just setting up activities has made a tremendous difference to many people’s lives.
Though not measured in pounds, shillings and pence, the value to the community is immeasurably great.
We implore representatives at the MoJ and the city council (who’ve given just £1000 in support of this campaign) to watch each video.
The campaign to save Fenton’s Town Hall and its war memorials from the clutches of private developers received a boost yesterday as residents of the village of Lidice in the Czech Republic came together to express their solidarity for their neighbours in the Potteries.
Lidice holds a notorious place in history as the village which was “wiped off the face of the earth” by Adolf Hitler, a completely unjustified act of revenge on a whole community in response to the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. This clinical obliteration, which began on the 10th June 1942, involved the shipping out of inhabitants to their deaths, pulling up of trees, destruction of buildings, shipping out of rubble, defilement of corpses and re-routing of rivers. It took a year to complete and was paid for using the victims’ bank accounts. In Stoke-on-Trent, on hearing the news, working people decided to do something about it and together with Cllr Barnett Stross and leading Czech representatives in the area they set up the Lidice Shall Live campaign on the early evening of Sunday, September 6th 1942. It grew internationally and the fund contributed a sizeable £1,000,000 in today’s money to the construction of a new village.
You can view a documentary about the village, past and present below:
Survivors and today’s residents of Lidice have never forgotten the input Barnett Stross and the ordinary working people of Stoke-on-Trent made to their village’s rebirth. Recently a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Stoke-on-Trent and Lidice, bringing both communities closer together. So often twinning arrangements between communities are merely nominal, brought out at times of special anniversaries or where a showcase event triggers an interest. The Stoke-on-Trent’s link with Lidice is thankfully not like that, it is organic and real.
Now, at a time when the residents of Fenton need a helping hand in reclaiming their town hall, we look to our friends across the sea for support and our hearts are lifted. Led by Mayor Veronika Kellerova, residents, including several survivors of the atrocity which descended upon the village on that fateful day 72 years ago, pose for a photograph showing their support for their comrades’ cause.
Call us protestors, ostracise us if you want, but remember:
“Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.”
Residents of Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent have reclaimed Fenton Town Hall in protection of four war memorials.
We are attempting to do something wonderful this Christmas by setting up four “Christmas Angel Trees”:
One 20ft representative of a spectacular Minton Hollins tiled First World War memorial, which contains the names of 498 men (many of whose remains weren’t found)
Three smaller trees, perhaps 6ft – 10ft, representative of Boer War, WW2 and Northern Ireland conflict memorials.
Essentially, relatives and residents will come to the town hall, write their messages on a bauble with a special glitter pen to a loved one lost and give a small donation to the campaign to keep both the town hall and its memorials in the hands of the community instead of being sold off into the private sector and a very uncertain future.
We are looking for companies and organisations with a strong sense of social justice to help us light up Fenton Town Hall and the beautiful Albert Square for the first time since 1968. The cost of a 20ft real tree is roughly £300. The smaller trees cost £50 – £100 and we need lots of lights.
If you would like to help please send a cheque to Fenton Community Association, The Manse, Temple Street, Fenton. ST4 4NW. Please mark FAO Glenn Parkes.
Here’s to saving war memorials and the regeneration of communities.