Opening of park dedicated to those killed in air disaster

Pictures Martin Bostock. The reopening of Freckleton Memorial Park.

Pictures Martin Bostock. The reopening of Freckleton Memorial Park.

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Hundreds of families, volunteers and civic dignitaries turned out to celebrate the grand opening of a memorial park.

The Freckleton Memorial Park, dedicated to the memory of those killed in a devastating wartime plane crash, reopened on Saturday following a £175,350 regeneration.

Pictures Martin Bostock. The reopening of Freckleton Memorial Park. 5 year old Marcus Gardner on the rope slide.

Pictures Martin Bostock. The reopening of Freckleton Memorial Park. 5 year old Marcus Gardner on the rope slide.

A friends group formed five years ago and, following help from volunteers and donations, the green space has now reopened, with a playground and games area for children.

The unveiling event took place this weekend, and coincided with a memorial service dedicated to the 61 people killed in the Freckleton Air Disaster of 1944.

Friends of Freckleton Memorial Park vice-chairman Nicole Partridge said the grand reopening was “absolutely amazing”.

She said: “We all met at 11am and processed through the park and we saw basically the whole village had turned out for the service.

There was just a flood of children. I was sobbing like a baby, I couldn’t help it, just seeing all their smiling faces going in

“It was a very emotional time because, not only was it the opening of the park, but to see the whole village together for something like this was absolutely phenomenal.”

The mum-of-two said the memorial service went “brilliantly”, with youngsters from across the village attending including children from Freckleton C of E Primary School, Strike Lane Primary School and Holy Family RC Primary School.

Air crash surviver Ruby Currell officially opened the park, and Nicole and friends group chairman Lyn Whittle opened the gates.

Nicole said: “There was just a flood of children. I was sobbing like a baby, I couldn’t help it, just seeing all their smiling faces going in.”

Pictures Martin Bostock. The reopening of Freckleton Memorial Park.  4 year old Olivia McGinty having fun on the bouncy castle

Pictures Martin Bostock. The reopening of Freckleton Memorial Park. 4 year old Olivia McGinty having fun on the bouncy castle

Pictures Martin Bostock.  The reopening of Freckleton Memorial Park.  Kelci and Riley Capstick share a swing.

Pictures Martin Bostock. The reopening of Freckleton Memorial Park. Kelci and Riley Capstick share a swing.

Pictures Martin Bostock. The reopening of Freckleton Memorial Park.  3 year old Annabel Dalby.

Pictures Martin Bostock. The reopening of Freckleton Memorial Park. 3 year old Annabel Dalby.

Pictures Martin Bostock. The reopening of Freckleton Memorial Park.  3 year old Annabel Dalby.

Pictures Martin Bostock. The reopening of Freckleton Memorial Park. 3 year old Annabel Dalby.