£10k bid for phase two development of Pogmoor’s park

26 11 2013

On 15th September, 2011, local residents identified a series of environmental improvements that were needed in the area around Cresswell Street. In response to this, the residents’ association sought funding for a multi-year project to make these much-needed  improvements by transforming the field behind Cresswell Street into a park.

Our wild flower meadow in full bloom

Our wild flower meadow in full bloom

Last October, with funding from Old Town Community First panel, we were able to complete phase 1 of the project.  Thirty three mature trees were planted, mostly along the West Road boundary of the field. Adjacent to these, seeds were sown for a small wild flower meadow. The final tree in phase 1 was the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee oak tree, which was planted by our MP, Dan Jarvis in a short ceremony to celebrate the completion of this stage of the project.

Dan Jarvis MP plants the Jubilee Tree

Dan Jarvis MP plants the Jubilee Tree

We have now submitted a bid for £10,000 to Wren (Waste Recycling Environmental Limited) to fund the second phase of the project.  This will provide  an avenue of 60 mature trees along the boundary with Royston Lead.  Four thousand bulbs will planted among the trees. In addition, a small people’s orchard will be planted between the avenue of trees and the allotments. We will hear whether we have been successful in March, 2014.

Planning is already underway for the third and final phase of the project. This will be a memorial garden adjacent to Cresswell Street.  We hope this garden will be a fitting reminder of the sacrifice made by the crew of the RAF bomber that crashed on this site on 6th January, 1942.  A service of remembrance is held each year on 6th January to commemorate the crew’s heroic deeds.


Memorial service commemorating the 71st anniversary of the RAF bomber crash

7 01 2013

Dan Jarvis MP paying tribute at the memorial serviceLast year, on 6th January, 2012, approximately 100 people gathered in Cresswell Street to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bravery of a young RAF crew who sought to steer their ailing Whitley bomber to avoid the houses in Pogmoor.  The plane crashed in the quarry behind Cresswell Street and the pilot, Sgt Alex Hollingworth, stayed with the aircraft and was killed on impact.  One of his colleagues, Sgt Alex Buchanan, bailed out on the south side of West Road and died as his parachute became entangled with the distructor tower on the Corporation tip.

Following the ceremony, the Residents’ Association decided to commemorate this event every year from now on.  Consequently, we will meet again on Cresswell Street on Sunday 6th January at 12.30 to remember their bravery again.  This is the Order of service. Please join us if you can. You will be most welcome.

alex hollingworth RAAFThis week we received a tribute to Alex (Lex) Hollingworth from his sister-in-law.  Her husband, Jack, is his last surviving brother. This is the text of her email:

“I never met this young man. He was my brother in-law, but I only
know him from photographs.

I felt the pain of his family – his two remaining brothers and

I never met my father in-law who died of a stroke soon after his
sons’ deaths. His grief was too much to bear.

Lex’s mother went to a séance with other grieving mothers in
a vain, ridiculous hope with contact with her sons. After that,
nothing but acceptance.

I am writing this beside a heated pool where Lex’s last remaining
immediate family member, Jack, who is 91, is exercising. He
was disabled in an accident with a gun issued by the Bank over
60 years ago. He is a very stoic man who looked after his mother
with great care.

One of the awful ripples in the pond that occurred from her losing
two boys in the war, was the dreadful debt that family paid.

As her daughter in-law I had to bite my tongue because the scar
from her past had moderated all our relationships with her.

If I did not know this boy Lex, why have I wept years of tears
for him? I read his glowing school report cards and his excellent
results from Sunday school exams. I see the photographs of a
family together, of his treasured girlfriend and of his school, work
and leisure days. I glean from them the lost promise of a life
largely unlived and in 70 years, the hurt never leaves us.

I wish Jack could be there for the service, he would really
appreciate it. When we visited Britain in 1965 there was no
knowledge of the facts surrounding Lex’s death. We send our
best wishes and our profound gratitude for your care.”

Whitley bomber crash 70th anniversary ceremony

2 01 2012

There was a fantastic turnout at our remembrance ceremony on 6th January, 2012 to mark the seventieth anniversary of the crash of a wartime bomber  in the quarry that was then at the rear of Cresswell Street. Two of the crew lost their lives as the plane rapidly descended into the quarry. We salute the bravery of these young airmen.

“At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.”

Further photographs from the ceremony are available here.

Here are the detailed order of service and the poster announcing the commemoration ceremony