21 February 2020
Or rather, reverting to the original name.
The minutes of Linslade Urban District Council meeting in 1946 recorded public demand for a playing fields memorial to all the Linslade men and women who served in both world wars, not just the fallen. The same year, a Linslade Memorial Playing Fields Committee was formed. There are then several references in newspaper reports and meeting minutes of ‘Playing fields, Mentmore Road’. The name ‘Linslade Memorial Playing Field’ first appeared in a Linslade UDC report in 1952, and thereafter there are many references to the Memorial Playing Fields, Mentmore Road. A 1998 Town Council Bye-Law (still current) refers to Linslade Memorial Playing Fields and Gardens, Linslade.
From 2011 or so, things began to change – the term “Mentmore Road Park” was first used then in the Town Council minutes, with ‘Mentmore Park’ appearing for the first time in 2013. The Centenary Field designation of 2014 refers to ‘Mentmore Park and Memorial Gardens’.
For the Garden of Remembrance itself, ‘Linslade Garden of Remembrance’ has been used as the official name right through, with just a couple of exceptions as in the Centenary Field designation; though since at least the 1980s, the Garden has been known to many local residents as ‘Linslade Memorial Gardens’, which is why South Beds Friends of the Earth used that name. It’s worth noting that the British Legion’s Roll of Honour in 2019 used the original name of Garden of Remembrance.
All these changes were thoroughly researched – in more detail than I’ve given here – by Councillor Steve Owen, and presented to the Town Council’s Grounds and Environment Committee at its meeting on 2 December 2019 (Cllr Owen’s original research sheet can be accessed in his report to the Council, which can be found on the Council’s website) . On 27th January 2020, the Town Council voted almost unanimously to revert to the original names, to honour the original sentiment of Linslade Urban District Council (the council administration in the 1950’s) to commemorate and memorialise all the men and women of Linslade who served in both world wars.
So the names of the various parts of the park will now be:
- The whole park including the memorial garden will be Linslade Memorial Playing Fields and Garden of Remembrance
- The park excluding the Garden of Remembrance will be Linslade Memorial Playing Field
- The Garden of Remembrance excluding the park will be Linslade Garden of Remembrance
- The pavilion only will be Linslade Memorial Pavilion