The Stratton Peace Memorial Swindon
So yesterday, together with two friends and two dogs, I strolled round Stratton following a Stratton history trail.
One of the things this trail takes in, is the Stratton Peace memorial, the main focus of this post. But I’ll come back to that in a bit. First a bit of info about the Stratton treasure/history trail.
The Friends of Grange Schools in Stratton put this trail together during lockdown last year. As the leaflet says:
‘we hope you enjoy this treasure trail. … developed by volunteers for Friends of Grange Schools. Our aim is to give your local walk a bit of a focus and we hope you learn something new about our area.’
Find the group on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Friends-Of-Grange-Schools-FOGS-1469126033349360
Though with the quiz element it’s designed for children, we got a lot out of it. I live over in West Swindon and, with no reason to visit Stratton it’s largely here be dragons to me. Though I did know about the Canadian Spitfire pilot memorial, having covered it on the blog here. I also knew about the Methodist chapel with the cornerstones bearing the names of the church’s founding fathers having done a recent Swindon in 50 More Buildings post about it.
Get a copy of the trail
I can’t say too much more about the trail because FOGS has written it as a fund raising activity: ‘Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to buy a copy of the trail.’
And I recommend you do! It’s really cool. We learnt a lot – and we didn’t quite do the whole thing.
I will though take this opportunity to mention my own Born Again Swindonian’s guide book because the aim of that matches the aim of the FOGS trail. That being, to get you to learn more about your area with a bit of urban exploration. My #lookdownlookaroundlookup is as applicable there as it is to my own writings. And my book offers something for all the family. You’ll find within its pages two kids’ quiz trails with answers in the back of the book. On those trails is around Old Town and the other features New Swindon. Amongst many other things of course!
And for a grown-up version of Stratton History go here. And also here in the Swindon Advertiser. Indeed, as that article says: ‘You will be surprised just how interesting Stratton can be once you know a little more about its history, where key landmarks used to be, and also which of the ancient pathways and streets to look along to find old interesting buildings and structures.’ And they’re right – walk around it and you do get the sense of the village it once was.
The Stratton Peace Memorial
They sure seem big on memorials in Stratton – that’s an observation not a criticism. As this Swindon Advertiser article observes: ‘Despite having two memorials in Stratton – one in St Margaret’s Church and the other outside the Royal British Legion in St Philips Road – residents approached the parish council in 2011 for a central memorial to mark the centenary.’ Not to mention of course the TWO spots that commemorate the Canadian pilot.
Sitting on a corner of Grange Drive and Ermin Street, The peace memorial, installed in 2014, commemorates the centenary of WWI. Children at Ruskin Junior school took part in a competition to design it. Ethan Carter’s design involving mirrors and called A Place to Reflect, was chosen.
Tony Currivan, an architect with Swindon council, designed the whole memorial area. It comprises three elements, including a zig-zag path, a grail sculpture for focus and reflection, and a brick structure representing Stratton St Margaret and the dragon protecting the grail.