Swindon, England
United Kingdom
Stratton Wood Birchgrove Memorial Grove since 1 October 1996
without names
Woodland Open Day
On Sunday 23rd May 2004 Birchgrove held an Open Day at the woodland grove at Sratton Wood nearSwindon. The inscribed stone, which was installed last year, was officially unveiled and the day gave an opportunity for many people to come together and share their personal experiences.

It was a beautiful day in many ways. The sun shone all day, the trees in blossom and Forget-Me-Nots in flower amongst the trees added to the occasion.

A wonderful large red ribbon made from hundreds of small red ribbons covered the stone. After the speeches the large ribbon was removed, laid on the ground, and the stone was unveiled. Some people laid flowers at the foot of the stone, some hugged strangers or loved ones, and cried, and a mother laid a small teddy bear next to a tree.

Around 150 people attended the event, consisting of people with haemophilia and HIV infection, their brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, mums, dads, wives, friends and loved ones. BBC Radio Swindon and Wiltshire covered the event for their Sunday Breakfast programme and an article also appeared in the Swindon Evening Advertiser. There were no representatives from any pharmaceutical companies or the Haemophilia Society at the event.

My involvement in bringing this project to closure has been one of the proudest, rewarding and most fulfilling parts of my life. I hope that you all visit the wood and see the trees grow for many years to come. The wood is open to the public all year round and can be visited at any time. [excerpt]

Photo © Birchgrove Issue 12 (August 2004)

23 May 2004
Paul Bateman, Solihull