A special event has been held in Polegate to celebrate one of the town’s parks becoming a centenary field.
Lord Lieutenant Peter Field unveiled a new entrance sign to the War Memorial Recreation Ground on Wannock Road after it was given the protection by charity Fields in Trust on Friday (October 31).
The initiative, in conjunction with the Royal British Legion, aims to protect war memorial playing fields, parks and green spaces created in memory of people who lost their lives in the First World War from development, and create a living legacy.
Polegate Town Council applied to join the trust and this was granted, meaning the playground will now be protected from development in perpetuity.
Polegate was the first town in the UK to achieve this status for one of its parks. Coventry as a city was the first.
Mayor Councillor Michael Clewett said: “The event went extremely well and we were blessed with a break in the weather.
“There was a good attendance and the presence of Peter Field, the Lord Lieutenant and Mrs Field was much appreciated.
“The new Polegate flag, commissioned by me out of my Mayoral fund, was liked by all.”
In a mark of respect for those in the area who gave their lives in the First World War, balloons were released and a new plaque was installed giving the names of the men.
Cllr Clewett added: “In addition, and at the end of the proceedings, 33 helium filled balloons were released, each representing one of the men killed in the Great War.
“Also, a new plaque was installed giving the names of the men, the War Memorial itself being inside the Parish Church and consequently not seen by many - although I had a notice put on the outside of the Town Hall to tell folks where it is, and also that the World War Two plaque is located similarly.”
MP Norman Baker, and relatives of those who originally gifted the land to Polegate were in attendance at the event.
The event took place at around 10.30am.
Speaking to the Express last month, a spokesman for Polegate Town Council said: “This new initiative will secure the future.
“Polegate Town Council made an early application to the trust and this has now been approved and the Deed of Dedication has now been duly signed by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.”