Grange Park, in Coulsdon, will this week become the first ‘Centenary Field’ in South London.
Centenary Fields is an organisation that works across the UK in partnership with The Royal British Legion to secure recreational spaces in perpetuity to honour the memory of the millions of people who lost their lives in World War I.
As a Centenary Field, Grange Park will receive additional protection to ensure it remains as a public open space for future generations to enjoy.
The application to get this recognition was made jointly by the local friends group and the council, and was supported through the use of the local councillors’ ward budget.
Grange Park has a history of community fundraising and involvement, as the land was first acquired partly by public subscription in 1929.
More recently a new playground project run by the friends group was completed following the receipt of funding from a Biffa Award and the London Marathon Charitable Trust. This was made possible after the group also raised funds with the help of the local community, including local primary schools, residents’ associations, businesses, community organisations and individuals.
“It’s hugely important we protect and enhance all of our parks, especially when the government is cutting local authority funding. Parks are at the heart of local communities and provide space for people to relax, exercise, meet friends and enjoy themselves. Grange Park is a great example of how local people can come together to make a real difference, and I’m delighted this has resulted in South London getting its first Centenary Park.”
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport
At a ceremony on Saturday (15 April), The Deputy Mayor of Croydon and others marked the park’s new designation by unveiling the centenary field plaque.
The Coulsdon Village War Memorial stands on the edge of the park and takes the form of a simple wayside cross with the inscription: ‘These men of Coulsdon, gave their lives in the War, 1914-1918.’ Panels at the base contain the names of the fallen.