Derby City Council is delighted to announce that HRH The Princess Royal will be visiting Derby on Thursday 18 July to visit the War Memorial Village and St. Martin’s Church and Community Centre.
The visit comes as the War Memorial Village celebrates its 70th Anniversary and in the same year that we commemorate 100 years of council housing in Britain.
War Memorial Village Derby is situated in Shelton Lock, providing housing for disabled veterans of the Armed Services and Emergency Services, and is believed to be the last remaining original village in the country. The foundation stone for the village was laid in 1949 by the Queen (then HRH Princess Elizabeth) on a visit that also included stops at the Arboretum Park, Rolls-Royce, Royal Crown Derby and the Council House.
The Village is a registered charity and a Limited Company. It is represented by a group of trustees which includes retired, ex-services personnel. The charity has recently funded a complete refurbishment of the village’s parade ground, which is now to be named Memorial Square. A special celebration is also planned on Saturday 24 August to mark the 70th anniversary with a range of displays, a memorial service and a possible flyover.
The second stage of the visit is to the St. Martin’s Church and Community Centre in Allenton. The Community Centre has recently undergone a truly inspiring expansion and refurbishment. With a total investment of just £250,000, the actual work involved has been valued at £1million, thanks to the generosity of local individuals and companies providing materials and services at no cost and sponsorship.
The building now boasts a new community café, which is used as a training base for adults and young people with learning disabilities; a unique “Night Bus” project, which opens during the early hours of the morning for those experiencing mental health issues; and a range of other services that meet the needs of the local community in Allenton.
Derby’s latest Royal visit will echo elements of the Queen’s visit 70 years ago. Rolls-Royce’s arrival in Derby led to the first council houses being built on Victory Road in the 1920s, and to commemorate both the War Memorial’s anniversary and 100 years of the “Addison Act” (which led to the most significant period in local authority housing provision) Her Royal Highness will be presented with a specially commissioned piece from Royal Crown Derby. The Princess Royal will also be asked to unveil a plaque for nine new bungalows being built by the village, with the work carried out by Derby Homes. The development will support local jobs and continue to honour the 1919 Parliament pledge of “Homes Fit for Heroes”.
Cllr. Chris Poulter, Leader of the Council said:
“It is a real honour to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to Derby to see these fantastic projects. We’re very proud of both the War Memorial Village and St. Martin’s and we look forward to showing Her Royal Highness what has been achieved.”