Downham Market school pupils unveil renovated memorial garden to war dead

Students from Downham Market Academy present the memorial garden they created. Students with LtoR, Town Mayor Marion Ross, RBL Branch Chairman Robin Pegg, Julie Watts Downham Academy and Deputy Borough Mayor consort Simon Bower and Deputy Borough Mayor Carol Bower. ANL-161111-150527009
Students from Downham Market Academy present the memorial garden they created. Students with LtoR, Town Mayor Marion Ross, RBL Branch Chairman Robin Pegg, Julie Watts Downham Academy and Deputy Borough Mayor consort Simon Bower and Deputy Borough Mayor Carol Bower. ANL-161111-150527009
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Students of a West Norfolk secondary school have unveiled their own tribute to their community’s war dead.

A team of volunteers from the Downham Academy have led work to renovate the town’s memorial garden, which was unveiled on Friday morning.

Students from Downham Market Academy present the memorial garden they created. School chior sing. ANL-161111-150503009

Students from Downham Market Academy present the memorial garden they created. School chior sing. ANL-161111-150503009

Civic leaders and representatives of the town’s Royal British Legion attended the ceremony, which took place shortly after a two minutes’ silence was observed at the war memorial to mark Armistice Day.

Town mayor Marion Ross said: “I am sure you will agree that it is a very fitting tribute by the students to those for whom the garden was first created – those people of Downham Market who gave their lives during the Second World War.”

Initial talks took place between the town council, which now owns the garden following its transfer from West Norfolk Council, and the school last year, as part of the town’s In Bloom competition entry.

A team of seven students – Emily Murr, Freya Hewitt, Lucy Carter, Charlotte Emery, Jack Holman, Conor Williams and Jasmine Long – created a three dimensional model of their proposals to present to the town council.

Students from Downham Market Academy present the memorial garden they created. Town Mayor Marion Ross plants a rose. ANL-161111-150515009

Students from Downham Market Academy present the memorial garden they created. Town Mayor Marion Ross plants a rose. ANL-161111-150515009

However, it was only in September this year that final plans for the work were put in place.

Julie Watts, head of the academy’s Octavia House, said: “Without the generosity of local businesses we would not have been able to undertake this project on such a short timescale as we wanted to get it done by Remembrance Day.”

She thanked Bonnetts of Stoke Ferry, D H Signs, Downham Home and Garden Store and Holly Landscapes for their support of the project.

She also thanked Jack Watts, Katie Thompsett and Chloe Reynolds for planting and designing the flower beds.