2018 Memorial Field © BN5 magazine-4008

Henfield Memorial Field now open!

The fencing is down, the intensive seeding, growing, fertilising and rolling has been done and the newly re-surfaced Memorial Field is looking spectacular! It’s now open and is already being used by HCC for their Colts training, HFC will start using it in the Autumn season. This space, which was once a boggy, clay-covered patch of scrub-grass covered with rabbit holes has been completely transformed, thanks to the incredibly hard work of Henfield Parish Council, with support from Henfield Cricket Club and Henfield Football Club.

I met Malcolm Eastwood and Gary Pettifer from Henfield Parish Council, Mike Morgan from Horsham District Council, Simon Andrews and Andy Smith from Henfield Football Club, Dr Richard Earl from Sport England and Richard Conway from Grasstex who were the contractors for the project, all pictured here this week as the Memorial Field was finally ‘signed off’ ready for use.

To celebrate this lovely new space and commemorate those who fell in the Second World War, there will be a ‘Memorial Field Festival’ on 16th September, see below for details and keep an eye out for more information in BN5 soon!

Henfield Parish Council gave us this statement:

On the 31st May 2017 work began on the £140k restoration of our Memorial Field thanks to a collaboration between Sport England, Henfield Parish Council, Henfield Football Club, Henfield Cricket Club and Horsham District Council. The work has been completed by our contractor, Grasstex, and managed by TGMS the project management company appointed by Sport England. To protect the public whilst the heavy earth and drainage replacement works were undertaken and to allow the surface to stabilise and the grass to grow the field was closed to the public and made secure with fencing. 

After many dressings of top soil, sand, seed, eco-friendly fertiliser and secondary drainage the surface is now in good condition and we hope that the work will be formally certified as complete during an inspection on the 30th May 2018. This being the case, we plan to remove the fencing on 31st May 2018 and reopen it for public use although we will not be using it for competitive football until September, giving the surface more time to mature. 

We hope everyone will treat the new surface with care and respect. Dog walkers and picnickers are welcome but please take your deposits and rubbish away with you, or deposit it in the bins which can be found on the field perimeter. 

On behalf of all the Parish Council and our partners in the project we would like to thank all our parishioners and visitors for keeping off the playing field whilst the works have been completed. Please enjoy our beautifully restored Memorial Field. 

To celebrate the completion of the renovation of our Memorial Field on Henfield Common we are going to hold a Festival on Sunday 16th September, which is the 67th anniversary of the opening of this playing field in memory of all those who fell in the Second World War.

The Festival which will start at 2pm will include;

At 2pm a short service conducted by the Reverend Paul Doick to rededicate the Memorial Field and the unveiling the memorial stone by school children who attend the original dedication some 67 years earlier. 

From 2.30pm there will be fun sporting activities for all ages. Just come along, register and join in, no charge! There will be football and cricket challenges, egg and spoon races, sack races, relay races, skipping and Henfield Joggers mystery trail.

Around the cricket pitch boundary there will be food and drink stalls from a range of local providers including The Pizza Oven, Oui Creperie, Thaiangle, Silly Moo Cider, Just Brownies and Downlands Brewery. The Cricket Pavilion bar will be open and the Henfield Wild Violets WI will be serving refreshments as well.

Live Music with a local band performing outside the cricket pavilion from 5.30pm until 7pm.

Please come along with family and friends, join in and help us celebrate our beautiful new playing field at the Memorial Field Festival!

Emma Osman

2018 Memorial Field © BN5 magazine-3993

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