National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire

Thursday 30th June 2022

On a pleasant morning the group boarded a new “22 reg” coach ready for our journey. Our driver Steve said a few words and then we were on our way.  It was a remarkably quick journey without any hold up from traffic or roadworks.  Arriving at the Arboretum a member of staff came on board to welcome us and told us all the information we needed for our visit.  Tea, coffee and biscuits had been organised for arrival; and these were enjoyed before we went our separate ways to appreciate the site.

The site is 150 acres and has 300,000 visitors a year with more than 400 memorials plus trees, benches etc.

Their aim is to ensure there is a year-round space to celebrate lives lived and commemorate lives lost, the unique contribution of those who have served and sacrificed is never forgotten; the baton of Remembrance is passed on through the generations.

Their latest sculpture is a *Tree of Cherished Memories”, a splendid 4-metre bronze Remembrance.  The sculpture offers a unique opportunity to celebrate individuals from all walks of life.  Supporters can remember a loved one or mark a special occasion by commissioning a beautiful bronze-sculpted leaf to adorn the tree for many years to come.

Activities were available for the children , including a stick man trail and a playground.

I enquired if there was a u3a memorial and was told there was a named tree.  With maps and instructions where it should be I set off to find it.  I spent nearly an hour looking without success.  So back to the information desk I went.  After many conversations with various members of staff, they realised the map was incorrectly marked and they had no idea where it might be; so by now a cup of coffee was called for!!

The weather had remained fine and warm for the duration of the visit.  All back on board the coach for an equally smooth and quick journey home.  Pam


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