Memorial Garden – Jessica Foxley, Tom Petty & Philip Wright

Colne Fire Crews update the memorial garden for Jessica Foxley, Tom Petty & Philip Wright

Two new acer trees were planted in the memorial garden in front of Colne fire station.  The previous acer tree that was in a planter died during the many days that fire crews were busy tackling the moorland fires.  The memorial garden was created in memory of Jessica Foxley, Tom Petty & Philip Wright.

One of the acer trees was brought by LFRS and the other was jointly donated by Stell’s Famous Pet Store & Dorothy Lord.  A few days ago, the stone around area was kindly jet-washed by Unique Clean.

The Memorial Garden
Jessica Foxley, her boyfriend Tom Petty and Philip Wright were all killed in a car crash in July 2009.  This news devastated the Colne community and particularly affected our local fire crews, as Tom Petty was a local fire fighter.  

Around this time Lancashire Fire & Rescue was looking to install an access ramp for wheelchair users and the front of the fire station was generally in ‘a bit of a mess’.  Our local crews ‘wanted to do something’, so they decided to turn the front of the fire station into a memorial garden. Steve Heap & Lee Nuttall started organising things and were instrumental in the whole process.

A local farmer that was passing was flagged down and he dragged out a tree that was there using his tractor. LFRS started installing the ramp and fire crews managed to ‘acquire’ a stone circle from the workmen (who also laid it for them).  During the clean up of the area, a number of stone cobbles were dug up and these were used to create the planters around the memorial garden.

£1,000 was donated to their cause by Colne in Bloom.  The railings were supplied and fit by North Valley Forge, Nelson for practically nothing (at cost).  The spiral plants were supplied by LBS Horticulture and the chippings were supplied by another local business.  Three benches were bought and plaques were donated by Carl Revill – who used to be a fire fighter, but also worked for Helliwells Funeral Service.  

The memorial garden won ‘Best New Garden’ at RHS in Bloom awards in 2010.

There are other memorials dedicated to their memory and you may well have heard of them – the Jessica Foxley Stages and the Philip Wright Crown Green Bowling Academy.

Jessica Foxley Stages – was set up in 2010 by the Foxley family in Jessica’s memory, to provide high profile performance opportunities for musicians up to the age of around 25. Now in its 10th year, the Jessica Foxley Stages project forms an important part of the Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival held over the August Bank Holiday. Jessica Foxley Stages attracts younger musicians of a very high standard from across the UK.

The Philip Wright Crown Green Bowling Academy  was setup in April 2011 by friends & family in the memory of Philip Wright. He was a loved member of the local bowling community.  The sole purpose of the Academy is to introduce people, both young and old, to the sport of crown green bowling. 

Colne Fire Station v Pendle Athletic F.C. Memorial Charity Event – 2010
Back in 2009, the fire crew wore a very distinctive pink football strip and Pendle Athletic won the match!  Almost ten years on after that fatal day, they are having a re-match!

This charity football match raised over £8,000! If you’re wondering why Pendle Athletic F.C. – well, Tom Petty used to play for them.  Having had such a successful event, everyone tried to ‘make it an annual thing’. By that, we mean some sort of fundraising – the last picture above shows a fire crew team at a charity cricket match.

Colne Fire Station v Pendle Athletic F.C. Memorial Charity Event – 2019
This memorial charity event will be held on Sun 21st July 2019.  It will be held at Colne F.C. and the gates open at 12 noon, with kickoff scheduled for 1 pm. 

This year, the fundraising is in aid of three charities: Pendleside Hospice, the Stroke Association and The Fire Fighters Charity.

Support your local Fire Crews!
Apart from their obvious service, our local fire crews are plugged into the community literally everywhere. They’re pretty much at every major local event (Colne Grand Prix, Colne Gala, Trawden Agricultural Show etc.) and they offer help to everyone they can … including local schools, Colne In Bloom, putting up 30m’s worth of poppies at St. Michael’s Church (Foulridge), to helping individuals in stressful times. Not forgetting, of course, the Princes Youth Trust programmes.  We’ve not even vaguely scratched the surface of explaining what these folk do. The charity event on Sun 21st July is super important to them, so if you are free, please pop down and give them some support.

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About Naz Alam 293 Articles
Naz is well known in the local community as a photo journalist. He is group creator for 'Colne Talk' - a Facebook Community Group which has approx 20K members. He also runs multiple Facebook pages for the local community & local business, such as 'Visit Colne'.