Closing ceremony announced for Memorial Garden at Boleyn Ground

West Ham United, in conjunction with Barratt London, has written to families of those remembered at the original Boleyn Ground Memorial Garden to provide details of the Garden’s closing ceremony. This is the next stage of the careful and respectful redevelopment of the site, ahead of a new memorial area opening in the future. 

The thoughts and feelings of family members have always been of uppermost importance throughout the process of redeveloping the Boleyn site, with plans and designs being driven by the consultation conversations. 

The Memorial Garden closing ceremony will be held at 10am on Saturday 18 January 2020, ahead of the Premier League home fixture against Everton. This date and time has been chosen to try to maximise the number of friends and family members of those remembered who can attend.

The service will be conducted by the Club Chaplain and will be followed by teas, coffees and biscuits served at the Barratt London Site Office on the development, close to the Memorial Garden. Representatives of both West Ham United and Barratt London will be on hand to support those in attendance, should they have any questions. 

The ceremony will also give friends and relatives one further final opportunity to collect any items which have been left at the garden, should they wish to.

Any remaining unclaimed items will be carefully and respectfully collected after the ceremony, and stored on a temporary basis, while every effort is made to reunite family members with any items. Any items that remain unclaimed after this process will be added to a memorial capsule, which will be buried at the site ahead of the area reopening. 

After the ceremony, to provide families with a temporary area of reflection, a memorial bench will be installed on Priory Road. At the end of January 2020, hoardings will be erected around the Memorial Garden to protect the area during the redevelopment work. This 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.

The existing trees and soil will remain intact, with the new planter encompassing the existing soil. As communicated in the summer, the proposed considered all feedback from family members. We have worked closely with Barratt London on the design principles and considerations that have led to this point.

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. We will of course update on the final designs of the Memorial Garden area at the appropriate time ahead of the Garden reopening in 2022.

If you have a relative remembered at the Garden but the Club has not managed to contact you, please do get in touch, as we’re keen to ensure all relatives’ thoughts and feelings have been considered. The Club can then discuss your options, before the existing garden closes.

The Club and Barratt London are dedicated to ensuring the process of closing the existing Garden is a transparent and open one.  Should you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact the Club’s Supporter Services team at [email protected], and we’d welcome the opportunity to discuss the plans with you.