A poignant dedication and memorial ceremony has taken place on the Veterans Walk area of Blackpool’s Stanley Park.
Three new memorial trees and plaques were unveiled, dedicated to three recipients – the NHS, Blackpool Palatine Rotary’s blood bike service and the Friends of Stanley Park.
There were already 12 oak trees and plaques along this part of the park, many of them devoted to lost servicemen and women in various wars and conflicts while others are in honour of emergency services and community organisations.
It was intended to add the latest three trees last year, but the Covid restrictions intervened.
Blood Bike rider and rotarian Mark Rooker with Terry Harrison, president of Palatine Rotary and Elaine Smith from Friends of Stanley Park.
The project , which has cost around £5,000 overall, has been overseen by the Friends of Stanley Park, who contributed most of the funds, supported by Blackpool Palatine Rotary Club.
The memorial unveiling was attended by Lancashire Deputy Lieutenant John Barnett MBE, who gave a speech, as well as representatives of all three recipients.
Elaine Smith, chairman of the Friends of Stanley Park, said: “Veterans Walk is a lovely part of the park which honours those who have provided service, including those who lost their lives in times of conflict.
“We have wanted to include these extra trees for some time but just when we were ready early last year, Covid struck.
Peter Murphy and Jim Gardner from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals with the tree dedicated to the NHS.
“Because of the ongoing restrictions, we didn’t have as many people there are the unveiling as we would have wanted, but it was wonderful to have the Deputy Leuitenant there.”
She added: “We have lost some of our members in the Friends group, because of Covid, so we thought it was also a fitting way to honour them too.”
Joyce Street and Elaine Smith from the Friends of Stanley Park.
One of the plaques unveiled on the day