RAF Shinfield Park

Headquarters Flying Training Command 

(27th May 1940 - 1st June 1968)

The camp memorial

Background and preparation

Before Barratts formally handed over the new housing site to Wokingham Borough Council, they needed to fulfil the terms of the original building planning permission, which included the provision of a memorial to the camp.

It was envisaged that a flat stone will be set into the ground within the Eclipse Verge in front of the lodge with an inscription "To commemorate the site of HQ Flying Training Command, RAF Shinfield Park, 1940-1968".

See the letter to residents (Page 1, Page 2) laying out options for the area of the memorial, pertinent maps (Map 1, Map 2), a photo and an HQFTC crest. Thanks to Angus Ross, Parry Batth and Doreen Couzens for their interest, efforts and in particular, making this information available to the Webmaster.

Memorial - ceremony and miscellaneous

Click to enlarge a photo

Click pdf to view in browser

Memorial ceremony notes (by Greg North?)

VE bunting 2020 (sent by Doreen Cozens

Click to enlarge a photo

Ceremony photos

Old pic (sent by Angus Ross)

Some camp memorial correspondence

Emma Pilgrim replied to Doreen Cozens: (25 July 2019)

Thank you Doreen, it looks like they’ve done a really good job making this spot look good.

Normally when we’re aware of a larger community cutting back projects we can arrange for green waste left at the site to be cleared but when it’s smaller projects it becomes trickier as we are not permitted to hand out garden waste sacks.

The poppies are looking like they’re coming up nicely. I agree this is a perfect place to be sponsored as unfortunately we’re unable to give this space extra attention which could make the area look stunning.

Thank you

Kind regards

Emma

Doreen Cozens sent the following to Emma Pilgrim: (25 July 2019)

Hi Emma

Further to our tele con on Monday, please see photos here.

The first photo is of my neighbours, Colin and Jill, who, being unable to stand the sight of the unkempt shrubs across from their house, tackled weeding out the hypericum, they actually collected two of the large green bags, subsequently taken to the tip,  that was just one fifth of the whole length.

I've tried to enlist the help of other neighbours but so far no luck.  I'm unable to kneel and get down to it at the moment ( hospital appointment today).

Thought you'd like to see the amazing poppies which have sprung up over the last few days.  

As I mentioned the Tivoli grass cutting contractors came about two weeks ago and mowed across the poppy seeded area because it is just a mass of weeds, the poppies masking this at the moment.  The operator had not been told about the "meadow flower" option and cut it as had been done previously, he couldn't believe the overgrown weeds, thought he was mowing grass.  

It would seem regular mowing might be the answer, a better option than allowing unsightly weeds to grow, the poppies seem to survive against the odds.  However, once the flowering season is over what are the plans for that area?  Just leaving the weeds would not seem an option.

I've copied in Greg and Andre, two of the RAF Reunion Group who return each April from other parts of the country.

Parry:   In your latest post as WBC Executive Leader, Environment, can you please make it your mission for the RAF Memorial Garden to receive respect and regular maintenance.  Part of Wokingham's proud history?

I have some thoughts on how it perhaps could be sponsored.  Can we meet to discuss this?

Kind regards

Doreen

Doreen Cozens replied to Parry Batth: (7 May 2019)

Hi Parry

Congratulations!

Looking forward, with your help, to continuing my efforts to ensure that Shinfield Park is the exclusive executive development we were sold 12 years ago.

More particularly is to ensure that the history of Shinfield Park is preserved for future generations - Hunting ground of Henry VIII, the veteran Tudor Oak tree on The Green behind The Lodge, 400 year old Oaks on The Cirrus/Pascal Green and not least The RAF Memorial Garden, which you promised will be a priority upon your re-election.

I am available to meet up at any time agreed next week.

Parry Batth sent the following to Doreen Cozens and others: (6 May 2019)

Hi Doreen and all,

First of all, I am pleased to announce that, following last Thursday’s re-election, I will continue to be Borough Councillor for Shinfield North for the next four years.

Thank you also for reporting good feedback to Emma. It is heartening to learn that a good job has been done by the contractors. I had requested Peter for a walk around the estate soon. Peter/Emma – please arrange this sometime for the week beginning 13th of May – my availability is as follows:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – 11AM to 12PM.

© Andre Francis 2020