Poor communication?

Stirring words from David Cameron about how we should remember a whole generation of war heroes.
But, concerning Fenton, from Mr Vara an admission that there are no assurances, no guarantees. And while there may be rogue developers and rogue occupiers I’m sure Mr Vara will accept the community will have only the best of intentions for Fenton’s Town Hall and First World War memorial.
Please share and let’s put an end once and for all to this hypocrisy.

Value Added – Michelle’s Story

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.

Arthur’s Story

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.

Save Fenton Town Hall Campaign (SFTHC) goes into overdrive as help comes from across the country!

Dig in for victory!
Supporters, activists and campaign groups arrived late last night to rally round the custodians of the Town Hall and offer skills, support and community organising experience in the wake of a 24hr Notice to Quit from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).
“We helped to Save the Friern Barnet Library and have come up to help the people of Fenton save this amazing community space.” said activist and community organiser Phoenix from London.
Canny campaigners rapidly replied with a LETTER OF NEGOTIATION to the Ministry stating that they were mid-negotiation and they felt disappointed by the Ministry’s behaviour. During a meeting on the 24th November, between the Ministry and the Save Fenton Town Hall Campaign, the MOJ offered a week to put in a full proposal for community use. However, just shortly after the meeting ended, they appeared to do a u turn and served notice to quit within 24hrs.
“We were mid-negotiation and dialogue and were waiting for more information from the Ministry when all of a sudden this happened. We found this letter taped to the doors. There are so many mistakes on it that we weren’t even sure it was real. We hope this can be cleared up and we can continue the work that we have started in the building to regenerate the local area and economy in partnership with Urban Vision North Staffs” replied Jane one of the Custodians in the building.
Their reply was swift and sure – they are going to dig in for victory! A copy of the letter is attached.
The custodians are appealing to all residents and local groups to rally round, use the building and thereby save this amazing space.
We would like to annouce that the Community project is now open 10am to 8pm each day for cafe, exhibitions, library, workshops, talks and campaign organising. Plans include a weekly film night, farmers’ markets, live music evenings, meeting spaces and many more ideas. We are currently compiling a timetable of events which will be up online on the Fenton facebook group and also in the building itself.
Campaign momentum is building, we are winning… now is the time to get involved.

With a little help from our friends…

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.


Christmas Angel Trees

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. IMAG02100005

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.

Alan Gerrard75695794_816be5fc1f