A big thank you to everyone who wrote to ask that their signature be added on the letter sent by the Foundation to LBRUT. The endorsements below are typical of those that I received.
‘Yes, I believe Udney park is a valuable asset to the community and the increasingly bad state of the facilities is a travesty.
I totally support your offer to develop the site for local people to use to improve health and wellbeing of people of all ages and asap. My charity, Active Women and Girls Foundation is also very keen to find local facilities in which girls and women of all ages and enjoy sport and exercise’
Sarah Robbie, CEO, Active Women and Girls Foundation
‘Thanks for this and your considerable energy and perseverance in getting this land back into use for multi - sport for all.
Teddington CC would support your case’
Phil Eastland, Teddington CC
‘More than happy to support your course of action as both as a sports loving/playing Teddington resident and as D of R at Richmond FC’
Steve Hill, Director of Rugby, Richmond RFC
‘Mark, Shelly and I are in complete agreement with both your e-mail below and the content of the attached letter. Please accept this e-mail as confirmation that Bushy Park Girls CC as a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) is happy to add our signature to the letter.
Best of luck with your endeavours and please do let us know if there is anything else we can do to support you and the charity’.
Natalie, Bushy Park Girls CC
‘Wishing you the best Jonathan. I was at a place in Berkshire Sat/Sun called Hampstead Norries. The Village Hall and fields - all frequently used for multiple purposes was - like Udney - dedicated to the memory of WW1 dead in perpetuity. I think this is one of your most powerful arguments. To sell something for commercial gain that was dedicated to those who died would be a desecration, while to encourage sport in the young especially is the reason those men fought. I think a number of WW1 poets evoke the cricket pitch and other memories of sport’
Anthony Lipmann, local business owner and sponsor of Thamesians Women’s team
Anthony Lipmann’s comments are particularly pertinent; 2022 is the centenary of the year in which the fields were bequeathed for the playing of amateur sport, in memory of the fallen of World War 1. It is hard to disagree with Anthony’s sentiments. It would be great to celebrate the centenary in November with the purchase of the site for community sport.
It was also good to have the endorsements of unsung volunteers from the charity sector. Bill Glassup and Dave Munby are both ex-Thamesians players, who help to run separate drop-in centres in Hampton, and Hampton Hill respectively. Another ex-Thamesian, Andrew Osborne, is the founder of Surplus to Supper which addresses food poverty in the local boroughs. Surplus is based at Sunbury Cricket Club, where each year a remarkable 70,000 frozen meals are prepared, and 1,600 deliveries are made to 71 separate projects and food banks (650 tonnes of food that would otherwise go to waste). Hopefully at Udney Park we can forge partnerships with charities mirroring the successful joint venture between Sunbury CC and Surplus for Supper. The war memorial pavilion certainly provides a wonderful space to do so.
Since the letter was sent, further endorsements have arrived. All of this will help generate vital momentum in breaking the current impasse. I will keep you all updated.