Talks on Uckfield Rotary Club’s memorial idea

Talks will take place with Uckfield Rotary Club about the possibility of a memorial at the Victoria Pleasure Ground in memory of a former Rotarian.

It would mark his service to Rotary and to Uckfield Anderida Cricket Club, where he helped coach younger players and acted as an umpire and scorer for the senior team, which plays home matches at the town council-owned pleasure ground.

Members of the council’s environment and leisure committee considered the request on Tuesday (January 2) and said there should be talks between the council, Rotarians and the cricket club over the proposal and any location.

Councillors said other ideas of a memorial  and sites should also be considered, including a plaque on the Victoria Pleasure Ground pavilion.

Similar to Buxted

In proposing the idea, Uckfield Rotary Club did not bring forward any definitive proposals but said any structure would not exceed a metre in height.

A report by council officers to members said: “One suggestion is for a roughly coursed sandstone memorial similar to the attached sketch and similar to a memorial at Buxted. The club would however be happy to look at something smaller.

“They are unsure at this moment in time if the memorial will contain the name of the late Rotarian but may have a Rotary ‘Roundel badge’ and a design cut into the stone capping, illustrating approximate direction and mileage of far flung places he had visited.”

In a letter to the council, the club said the member died in September 2016.

President and treasurer

It continued: He had been a member of a Rotary Club in Blandford Forum before moving to Uckfield.

“He joined our club in 1997, and was an active member, serving as treasurer and president.

“He held the post of district youth exchange officer for two years, working to develop links between young people in Kent and East Sussex with those overseas.  This built on his career as a teacher.

“He was always keen to help young people achieve their potential, especially in sport, which was a passion of his.  He coached youngsters during his teaching career, and this continued once he had retired.”


The letter added that the Victoria Pleasure Ground was where he spent much time in his later years.

“As to what sort of memorial is proposed, this is still under discussion.

“We do not propose anything large or obtrusive.

“The current plans are for a low, brick (or similar) built design, perhaps bearing directional pointers.  It is likely to carry a Rotary emblem.

“We have no firm idea as to where it might go – these issues are still being thought through.  We would be pleased to discuss our ideas with council representatives before these are fixed, if that were thought helpful,” the club’s letter said.

Memorial locations

Members of the committee were advised by officers that the town council accepted memorial benches in various open spaces including the cemetery, Luxford Field, Elizabeth Gardens and the Victoria Pleasure Ground.

This was the first request for a brick-built memorial and agreement could set a precedent for the future, the officers advised.

Brief history of Uckfield Rotary Club


The letter from Uckfield Rotary Club also set out the contribution made to town life and events over many years.

It said:

The Rotary Club of Uckfield was set up in 1950, and has been active in the town since then.  We are a registered charity, number 260888.

The club maintains a charity fund, which is used to respond to appeals for help from local good causes – in the past year or so we have helped local families in difficulties, paid for young carers to go away for a weekend with others in the same situation, supported the Housebound Club and contributed to the imminent purchase of a defibrillator in the Luxford Centre as well as other donations.

Brighter Uckfield

We have also worked with Brighter Uckfield on the flower beds at the railway station, paying for plants which one of our members, a keen gardener, looks after.

We also have a number of regular community events through the year; we contribute to the funding, staffing and organisation of the Uckfield Grand Prix, which is part of the Festival.

In the spring we work with the Stroke Association to provide blood pressure testing in the High Street, the costs of which are met out of our charity fund.

Uckfield Festival

We always have a stall at the Festival Big Day in July, and support Uckfield Guiding with their float in Uckfield Carnival, helping to assemble the float and collecting as the parade goes around the town.

Since 1951, CJ Thorne have provided a Christmas Tree for the High Street; our members work with employees of CJ Thorne to erect it, and then from Late Night Shopping until Christmas members and supporters collect money at the tree, which is when we replenish the charity fund.

This is supplemented by the sale of commemorative ribbons, which are put on the tree.

Pt Daniel Gamble

The other regular, major, event is our Making Dreams Come True award.  Set up in memory of Daniel Gamble*, this makes a grant of £1,000 available to a local 16-25-year-old, to help them achieve an ambition.

In the past the club has sought to make contributions to the town.

Town clock

A Rotary donation that comes to mind is the clock in the High Street, bought by the club in 1980.

We were very grateful earlier this year [2017] when the town council agreed to replace the original clock, which was by then worn out.

Elizabeth Gardens

In 1972, the club donated Elizabeth Gardens to the town, to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

We worked with the town council some 30 years ago in planting many trees in Luxford Field, and members were prominent in fund-raising to help develop the Luxford Centre.

Uckfield Community Hospital

When Uckfield Community Hospital was being fitted out, some 20 years ago, the club raised a lot of money to equip a ward, helped by members of a Rotary Club in Holland with whom we had a link at that time.

We have also planted crocuses near the Highlands roundabout, and at Ringles Cross, again working with Brighter Uckfield.

* note: Private Daniel Gamble from Uckfield was the 100th British soldier to be killed in Afghanistan. He was serving as a rifleman and linguist when he was killed by a suicide bomber in June 2008.

See also:

St Philip’s access route decision

Uckfield Picture House could become wedding venue

Christmas lights win prizes

Stewart saves Labrador from swollen River Uck

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

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