Ingleborough Road site
OLD Boys from a school whose memorial playing fields could be turned into a housing estate are seeking "one last chance" to lay poppies there on Remembrance Sunday.
The Ingleborough Field, in Wirral, was a playing field for the Birkenhead Institute school, before becoming a training ground for Tranmere Rovers football club.
But the club has not used the fields in recent years and sought permission to build up to 90 houses on it, along with plans to develop the Woodchurch leisure centre to become its new training ground.
Despite a massive campaign by those who wanted the field to remain a memorial to the 88 old boys of the school – including the war poet Wilfred Owen – permission was granted by Wirral Council.
Now Dean Johnson, who helped lead the campaign against the planning application by Tranmere and is an old boy of the Institute, has written to the football club seeking permission to access the site on Remembrance Sunday "in order they may pay their respects to the young men of Birkenhead Institute at their special place for what could be the last time".
Mr Johnson said he wants to organise a short Remembrance Day service at Ingleborough, and added: "We would also invite the public to leave a poppy outside the Field gates as a gesture to the fallen."
He said: “The timing of this planning decision was very regrettable, being so near to Remembrance Day; this year it falls on a Sunday and we have written to TRFC to allow us to hold a short service.”
In a letter to the club, Mr Johnson – who set up the Birkenhead- based Wilfred Owen Story museum in memory of the poet – said: "In past years when the school was in existence, we could honour and remember our fallen there and would be grateful to TRFC if they would grant this simple request."
No one from Tranmere Rovers was available to comment on the request.