Villa Paving The Way For A New Way Of Remembrance
A closer look at some of the issues from the last FCG meeting. See the minutes: The Fans Ask - The Club Answers. FCG 20/02/201 agenda a little more closely.
The next one up was a question that several have asked, about the pavers.
The paving stones. Could these be re-introduced and would it be possible for the faded ones to be restored?
The club answered Firstly, it is not possible for us to restore any faded Pavers. When the letters fade, it is because the stone is being worn away from foot traffic and weather. Once the lettering has faded, there is nothing we can do. Clearly, we are not in a position to replace the stones, and it is unfortunate that the type of product introduced years ago has led to disappointment for many. In any future build, we will give consideration to a different solution. If we can find one, we will give those whose messages are lost the opportunity to replace their wording at minimal cost.
Apparently there is a book of remembrance you can sign in lieu of these pavers. Not ideal but at least it is something. And usually at the end of the season the club allows fans to nominate holteenders in the sky to be remembered on the big screens at the last match.
I know a few who have talked to me about these thought the pavers had only been going about 5 years. But no, they started when the new stand was built, circa 2001. So, with the constant foot traffic (and weather?!) it isn`t a major shock that they are wearing.
I think the cost to re-score something like this would be too prohibitive and replacing them isn`t an option sadly. The one problem is there are only a few of the stones used remaining now. I think for the amount of time many have been down, it`s not that unexpected that they`ve not lasted?
The club aren`t totally dismissive of this idea to honour Villa fans who have passed, not that all of these were for remembrance, some were to celebrate the birth of new Villa fans, etc. They have said that if and when they come to re-developing around Villa Park (the North Stand again being mentioned) they are considering looking at a wall or something along those lines where fans could buy bricks similar to how we bought pavers. The bricks, one would imagine, would last longer. The club confirmed they do still have the paperwork we had to submit when buying a paver and they would look to being sympathetic to any of us who wanted to replicate in a brick what we put down in words on the pavers.
Not a bad idea for you to keep any pictures you have taken of your particular pavers as well I would think.
So there you go. Not a major issue, but a nice one to have cleared up via the FCG I think.