Campaign to create a May 22nd Memorial Garden Bridge for the victims of the arena bomb

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We are all devastated by the attack that occurred at the Manchester Arena on the 22nd of May. Discussions have begun on how we will remember the victims. Memorial gardens are a common response to such events as they provide a peaceful place of reflection.

Directly next to the Manchester Arena is a small stretch of disused Victorian railway viaduct that has the potential to be transformed into memorial garden. The land is currently redundant, inaccessible to the public and since the arena was built, there is no capacity for it to be used by the railways again. Inspired by New York City’s High Line this disused Victorian railway viaduct could be transformed into a gardens of remembrance. Leeds has recently announced that it is restoring the Monkbridge viaduct to accommodate pedestrian use and link up two city centre communities. Could there be a better symbol of unity, stability and hope than a bridge?

The viaduct could be transformed into a memorial gardens where families of the victims may return to and reflect. Above the traffic and beside the tranquil river the space is a rare pocket of disused land directly next to the arena. This could be a new green space where everyone can come to remember the 22nd of May. The bridge would provide another link between the cities of Salford and Manchester which could strengthen the bond between our communities.

There are some challenges to the site. Trains roll past on the neighbouring bridges. Today they can be quite noisy but as the electric trains are phased in this will become quieter. The design of the garden could help with the acoustics. Trees and shrubs or other structures could be installed to absorb the sound from the trains. A barrier would need to be erected to separate the site from the railway in any case. Access steps from the Manchester and Salford sides of the river would need to be installed, which would probably be the costliest element to the project. Funding could come from a mix of public money and private donations and fundraising. 

I am not a city planner, architect or elective representative. This petition is to gauge the public support for such a project. If there is significant support for this then I will write to the City Councils and Metro Mayor with the proposal. Liaising with the victims families about what memorial they want would also be an essential stage to the planning process.

The photo above shows the viaduct with the arena in the top right corner (courtesy of Google). Potential points of access are marked by the red arrows. 

Please send any constructive comments or offers of support to mancmemorial@gmail.com

 



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Peter White needs your help with “The Mayor of Greater Manchester: Campaign to to create a May 22nd Memorial Bridge to remember the victims of the arena bomb”. Join Peter and 180 supporters today.