Gheluvelt Park Bandstand and Bridge


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Reference WMO255515

Address:

Gheluvelt Park

Barbourne Road

Worcester

England

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Status: On original site
Type: Freestanding
Location: External
Setting: Within a garden/park/churchyard/enclosure/Marketplace
Description: Other structure/building
Materials:
  • Metal Iron
About the memorial: The battle of Gheluvelt was an early engagement in the First World War. The British Expeditionary Force had established a line to prevent the German forces reaching the Channel ports. On 31 October 1914 the Germans broke through this line and the 2nd Battalion of the Worcestershire regiment was sent to plug the gap and did so with a bayonet charge in the grounds of the Chateau at Gheluvelt in Flanders. They pushed back the German force of more than a thousand men, but with the loss to the battalion of 34 men and 158 injured. The victory was seen by many as highly significant, and a turning point in the early history of the war. At the opening of the park, on 17 June 1922, Field Marshal John French said that 'on that day the 2nd Worcesters saved the British Empire'. On 6 September 1918 Alderman Alfred Hill Parker presented a plan for the layout of the park, and it was also agreed that the land should be known as Gheluvelt Park (WMO 255501) as commemoration of the victory in which the Worcesters had played such a significant role. A cast-iron band stand and wooden bridge of c.1923, standing on an island in the middle of an ornamental pond. The band stand was the gift of the High Sheriff of Worcestershire, Alfred Wiggin, in May 1923, at the time that the park was being laid out as a municipal amenity and war memorial. The bridge across the pond was given by James Ward, at the same time. The octagonal band stand sits on a circular island. It is approached by a wooden bridge from the north shore of the pond. The side of the circular island has stone blocks, and the upper surface is of concrete, with a brick kerb to the edge and a step up to the central bandstand. The bandstand has eight, cast-iron columns with decorative capitals and bases. A balustrade of wrought and cast iron encloses the lower body of the bandstand. Above the capitals of the columns are arched brackets with foliage tracery to their spandrels. The roof has wood shingles with lead flashings to the angles. At the apex is a wrought iron weather cock. At the base of each column is a makers mark, which has become illegible due to layers of paint. The bandstand is approached on its northern side by a wooden bridge which is supported by two concrete cut-waters. The deck supports balustrades to either side which have lattice panels. There is a drawbridge panel of decking to the northern end, between the northern cutwater and the shore. The ceiling is a flat sounding board.
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