Could First World War link hold key to The Wong’s future?

County councillor Bill Aron who hopes First World War links could hold key to unlocking  on-going uncertainty about the future of The Wong
County councillor Bill Aron who hopes First World War links could hold key to unlocking on-going uncertainty about the future of The Wong

A 100-year-old link could hold the key to the future of a historic section of land in Horncsastle, it has been claimed.

The Wong has been at the centre of speculation for many years.

A working group was set up to campaign for the land to be officially designated as a community asset.

However, the group disbanded after failing to reach an agreement with East Lindsey District Council which actually owns the land.

In the last 12 months, Horncastle town councillors have been waiting for ELDC to decide what they intend to do with The Wong.

Various schemes have been suggested including a car park, a new supermarket or a site for a new community-backed 
health centre.

Now, though, town and county councillor Bill Aron believes The Wong’s former use as a training and exercise ground before and during the First World War could see yet another twist to the on-going saga.

He has organised a meeting later this month to discuss the situation.

Coun Aron told the News: “The Wong has been seen as a special part of the town’s heritage.

“It is cited in the English Oxford Dictionary as ‘Open Space near a Town Centre’ and in the deeds there appears a covenant for market and fairs as well as it being an exercise ground for ‘G Company’ before and during the war.

“Horncastle has shown an interest in managing and enhancing this parcel of land for a number of years.

“We have been awaiting for ELDC’s asset review when we learnt of Fields in Trust’s Centenary Fields Scheme that helps to secure open space across the country with aFirst World War connection - the Wong certainly does have that affiliation.”

“As this is a Royal British Legion and Fields in Trust project we have asked Julian Millington of the RBL to chair a meeting at Stanhope Hall on Thursday, June 22, at 6.30pm where we hope as many interested parties can come and find out more Jamie Leeson, Fields in Trust’s development manager, will be on hand to give details about this exciting scheme which has Prince William as its President.”

Town council chairman Coun Brian Burbidge said he would be interested to see the outcome of the meeting but stressed Coun Aron was acting on his own accord - and not with the support of the town council.