Community wants to redevelop pavilion to honour its fallen heroes

Year 5 Snettisham Primary pupils sung war songs as part of the memorial pavilion launch.

Year 5 Snettisham Primary pupils sung war songs as part of the launch. Pictured: Lady Dannatt MBE, alongside Penny Carpenter, Chair of NCC, MP James Wild, and David Bocking. - Credit: Christine Allsop

Families are on a 'mission' to restore and upgrade their much-loved ageing pavilion, which has been a focal point in the village for more than 70 years.

People in Snettisham held an event on November 11 to officially launch the start of a project to redevelop their memorial pavilion, which campaigners hope can be completed in time for its 75th anniversary.

Lady Dannatt MBE, the Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk, MP James Wild, councillors and more than 100 people gathered at the event, which involved pupils from Snettisham Primary singing war songs and people laying wreaths in honour of the village's fallen.

David Bocking, Snettisham parish councillor, who was one of the men who built the pavilion voluntarily, was also present.

Image of what the redeveloped pavilion will look like.

Image of what the redeveloped pavilion will look like. - Credit: Atelier Associates

Those behind the campaign say there are on a mission to "sympathetically" restore and upgrade the pavilion that has been central to village life after it was built in 1949 as a memorial to the fallen of the village.

They hope to raise £500,000 to redevelop the building, which is said to have visible wear and tear and "does not meet modern standards or regulations" including health and safety and child protection.

Stuart Dark, leader of West Norfolk Council, who is part of the project as fundraising manager in a personal capacity in his home village, said: "In Snettisham we're quite lucky, we've got a pavilion that was built at the end of WWII as a memorial to the fallen 15 soldiers of the village.

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"It's one of 63, that has a functional year round community purpose and it's actually the sports pavilion for the village.

Stuart Dark, Conservative candidate for Dersingham. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Stuart Dark. - Credit: Norfolk Conservatives

"It's right in the centre of the village and was a kind of an original DIY SOS.

"It's stood there for 70 plus years and supports the village fetes, any activity we have on the field.

"But unfortunately 70 plus years have aged it not very well."

A planning application to add another floor to the existing pavilion was given permission in the summer.

The efforts follow the Snettisham 45 project, which saw members travel to lay wreaths at the graves of all the people that had fallen in WWI.

The project was launched to remember and honour 45 men who lost their lives in WWI, 100 years on.

Villagers reading names on a memorial Picture: Snettisham 45

Villagers reading names on a memorial Picture: Snettisham 45 - Credit: Archant

And Mr Dark said the pavilion project was an extension of this, to help remember those lost in WWII.

Snettisham 45 was launched in February to remember men from Snettisham who died in World War One Pic

Snettisham 45 was launched in 2018 to remember men from Snettisham who died in World War One Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

He said: "It's a whole community effort, if we can get this right it's around lovingly restoring something that had been in the village for 70 years to make it good for 70 years to come."

To donate go to the GoFundMe fundraiser click here.

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