History of the Memorial Garden
In 2001, the Memorial Garden became an area at the Boleyn Ground where Hammers supporters chose to pay tribute to the memory of their loved ones. Situated alongside the famous John Lyall Gates, the Garden was open 24/7, and while many supporters paid their respects on matchday, the Garden was open for families to visit privately in their own time.
The Garden belonged to the supporters and, in this spirit, tributes were created and laid spontaneously by the fans with no requirement to notify the Club if you wished to visit or lay ashes in the area. For over 15 years, fans visited the area to say farewell to family and friends, and the tributes grew into their hundreds, with personal plaques and cherished items adorning the area.
A fitting and lasting legacy
Since moving to London Stadium in 2016, the Club has remained in close contact with Barratt London, who own the site of our former home. Regular meetings have been held between senior staff on both sides since 2016 to ensure the Memorial Garden could be accessed securely, is maintained weekly, and to secure a lasting legacy to all of those supporters remembered at the Garden.
We have always maintained a commitment to consulting with family members on any future plans for the area, and together we continue to do everything we can to locate those who have loved ones remembered at the Garden. This began with a series of consultation events held in the summer of 2018.
The thoughts and feelings of family members have always been our first priority and we have invited feedback on the proposals for the future of the Garden throughout the consultation with family members, via feedback forms and through conversations with Supporter Services and Barratt London Site Managers, who are always happy to help with enquiries or concerns.
The future of the Memorial Garden
The Memorial Garden has now temporarily closed in order for re-landscaping works to take place. Ahead of its closure, the Club and Barratt London held a closing ceremony for family members who have loved ones remembered at the garden. The event was attended by around 100 family members who heard readings from the West Ham United Chaplain Reverend Alan Bolding, and Ray Fuller, whose wife’s ashes are scattered at the site. Families also had time for quiet reflection and the opportunity to collect personal items. For more information on the Memorial Garden closing ceremony, click here.
Any remaining unclaimed items have now been carefully and respectfully collected by the Club, and will be stored on a temporary basis, while every effort is made to reunite family members with any items.
With the Memorial Garden now temporarily closed, and a memorial bench has been installed on Priory Road to provide families with a temporary area of reflection during the redevelopment work. Protective hoardings have been erected around the Memorial Garden, which will enable the existing site to be necessarily reconfigured during the redevelopment. This will mean that there is no access to the current memorial area until the new Memorial Garden reopens, which is anticipated to be in 2022.
As part of the wider development of Upton Gardens, the Memorial Garden will become an important part of the new open public space and legacy of the Boleyn Ground. The garden was very much created by the fans, for the fans, and the Club have been working with Barratt London to ensure the thoughts and feelings of family members are at the heart of the future designs for the garden.
The Memorial Garden area will become part of the public space when all landscaping is complete, providing a lasting, fitting tribute to loved ones remembered there, enabling families to come at their leisure. The Club will be in regular communication with family members in order to update them on the final designs of the Memorial Garden area, ahead of the garden reopening in 2022.
The Boleyn Ground Memorial Garden has temporarily closed while re-landscaping works take place, with the new Memorial Area currently anticipated to open in 2022. All items placed at the Memorial Garden have been carefully collected and respectfully stored for safekeeping by the Club during this time.
For any information on the Memorial Garden, an item of memorabilia, or to speak to us about a loved one who is remembered there, please contact Supporter Services at [email protected].