Bulbs help memorial cash fund grow

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Family planting bulbs. Pic © W.I.C.H/Facebook

Family planting bulbs. Pic ©W.I.C.H/Facebook

Plans to build a new £135,000 memorial building in a Whiston cemetery have made progress following the fundraising efforts of a local community group.

The Whiston Initiative and Cultural Heritage group (WICH) appealed to locals to purchase a £1 bulb in memory of a loved one at Knowsley Cemetery in Whiston.

The bulbs will create a field of ‘Remembrance in Red Tulips’ once the flowers bloom in spring.

Councillor David Williams, WICH’s honorary vice president, told JMU Journalism: “This weekend, we hope to have raised just over £2,000 towards the memorial building fund, which is fantastic for us. In total, we need another £57,000 if we want to meet our completion target of April 2016.”

Local businesses have also shown support, with steel engineers PP Fabrications supplying and constructing the steel framework for the memorial at a discounted price.

Cllr Williams said: “The support we have received so far has been tremendous. Vinci Construction completed the foundation installation, which should have cost £35,000, free of charge.”

Knowsley Council has backed the campaign, providing the land for the new memorial building at the cemetery.

Williams said: “We hope the chapel will be a place where people can go to remember their loved ones in peace and quiet.  There will also be a computerised book of remembrance and will also provide much needed toilet facilities and shelter for visitors.”

WICH was formed in 2005 by a group of Whiston residents, who had originally campaigned to save the old workhouse chapel that was located on the plot where the new Whiston Hospital now stands.

The group managed to save all of the stained glass windows from the former chapel, which will be used in the new memorial building, along with other original artefacts.

The group also hope to raise money by offering local companies the opportunity to sponsor one of the windows within the chapel.

About Stephanie Bocking, JMU Journalism