Project unites Angmering in wartime reflection

Students at The Angmering School working on the memorial garden. Photo by Derek Martin           D14411440a
Students at The Angmering School working on the memorial garden. Photo by Derek Martin D14411440a

GREEN-FINGERED helpers in Angmering have rallied to help a school build a new garden to commemorate the First World War.

Scores of people came out last week to support the efforts of The Angmering School in building its reflection garden.

The idea is the brainchild of the secondary’s history leader, Anna Ward, and the students in her history club, and was completed on Friday.

Mrs Ward said: “We have been absolutely blown away by the support, not just from the school, but the local community and businesses.

“Everyone has been incredibly generous. We couldn’t be more pleased with how things have gone.”

Earlier this month, 35 volunteers braved atrocious weekend weather to help plant the garden, based in the school’s grounds.

People of all ages joined the effort, with volunteers as young as three years old picking up a spade and mucking in.

“I didn’t expect such support from the locals,” Mrs Ward added. “I never thought so many people from the community would come out, because the rain was torrential in the morning.”

The scheme has been supported by West Sussex County Council, which provided a grant of £1,500 from its community initiative funding.

However, Mrs Ward’s work also inspired local residents and businesses to offer their own financial backing for the project.

Brian and Norma White, of Palmer Road, donated £100 towards the garden.

Lee Rand, an experienced builder, volunteered his skill to project-manage the scheme. He arranged machinery and a workforce to get the garden going.

David Kennedy, of Parker Building Supplies, donated plum slate and all the building materials and helped with the community day last week. While South Coast Skips, R & C Tool Hire and Grab & Tip loaned technical supplies and skips, with Ferring Nurseries and Haskins providing flowers and a bird bath between them.

“This would have all cost us over £3,500,” Mrs Ward said. “So we’re thrilled by everyone’s generosity.

“People have really come together to help. I imagine that’s what it would have been like in the war, with the country uniting as one.”

The school will open the garden on November 11 with a two-minute silence.