(To go straight to the photographs of this event, scroll down to the bottom of the page)
In 2014, Newbald Parish Council created an elegant stone Centenary Bench which now graces The Green in the centre of the village.
The Centenary Bench marks the centenary of two momentous events in Newbald’s history that are inexorably linked: the start of the Great War and the opening of the village school.
The bench was officially opened on Remembrance Sunday 2014. It provided an opportunity for residents to commemorate Newbald’s war dead and celebrate the success of the remarkable village school.
The bench was designed and built by two volunteers Mr John Danby and Parish Councillor Gavin Steward, both longstanding residents of the village. While they gave their time for free, the materials were paid for by a grant, so the bench did not cost Newbald council tax payers a penny.
Please scroll down to see the official gallery of photographs of this event.
Former Councillor Chris Waite, who at the time was Chairman of the Parish Council, said:
“In recalling the immense sacrifice made on our behalf by those who fought, we are also reminded that they did so in the hope that their children could continue to enjoy the freedom and way of life they had come to love and cherish.
In the case of Newbald, this hope was poignantly encapsulated in the opening of a new school in the same year, ensuring that generations of children have since grown up and been educated in safe and familiar surroundings”.
The bench was officially unveiled at a commemorative celebration at 1.30pm on 9 November 2014. Cllr. Beccy O’Sullivan spoke on behalf of the Parish Council. The ribbon was cut by Trixie Gatenby, the daughter of a Newbald soldier who fought in the Second World War. She was accompanied by two currently serving officers, members of the British Legion and pupils from the primary school who formed a symbolic ring round the bench.
Afterwards, residents retreated to the Church Rooms, where they enjoyed a delicious lunch buffet (also paid for by a grant) and a variety of entertainment, including displays of old photographs, special school art work, war-time music, a tombola, Newbald prize quiz and a cake stall.
The Parish Council would like to say a big thank you to all the charities in the village for all their help. This event could not have gone ahead without them.
Also, and very importantly, thank you to everyone who came to the event and made it such a success.
Photographs taken by Cllr. Edward Openshaw – thank you.