Article by Guy Bell: The opening of a new memorial in Ramsden Bellhouse has provided the people of the village a fitting place to remember those killed during the First and Second World Wars.
The memorial comes as a result of a £34,250 grant from Basildon Council's Community Investment Fund and has given it a much-needed revamp and facelift.
Over the past 70 years, the monument and remembrance garden had suffered as a result of age, vandalism and disrepair and it was in desperate need of an improvement.
A committee was formed in an attempt to identify whether there was a community need and expectation to replace what remained of the existing memorial and garden.
The response from the people of Ramsden Bellhouse was unanimous in their desire to restore the area and invest in a brand new memorial.
Cllr Terri Sargent, Basildon Council's cabinet member for environment and community, was equally as pleased with the decision and praised the village on securing the funding.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Cllr Terri Sargent"]Congratulations to Ramsden Bellhouse Parish Council and the village hall management committee in successfully bidding for funding from the council's Community Investment Fund. Congratulations as well for completing the refurbishment of the remembrance garden and war memorial at Ramsden Bellhouse in just over a year. It is fantastic to see residents getting together to take on a project benefiting the local community, especially one dedicated to honouring the memory of our fallen soldiers and civilians from the First and Second World Wars.[/quote]
Richard Wellborne, chairman of Ramsden Bellhouse Parish Council, was delighted to be able to have a place for family members to pay their respects to fallen loved ones and relatives.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Richard Wellbourne"]For the first time in 70 years the village once again has a visible focal point where the relatives and members of the community, young and old, can reflect on the ultimate sacrifices that were made in order that we and our families can continue to enjoy our freedom today.[/quote]
Over the last two years the recently closed Community Investment Fund awarded £497,150 in grants to 17 groups.
Article and image in Billericay Gazette, Guy Bell