Spelling error spotted on Sir Nicholas Winton memorial garden engraving

A quote from ‘British Schindler’ Sir Nicholas Winton has been misspelled by the Royal Borough in a memorial garden dedicated to him.

Eagle-eyed visitors to the garden in Oaken Grove Park spotted the error on an engraved rock which said: “It doesn’t matter whether you believe in God or not. You can still believe in the fundamental ethnics of goodness, kindness, love, honour and help for other people.”

Residents were keen to point out the quote should read 'ethics', instead of 'ethnics'.

On Twitter, Jodie Humphries wrote: “Wrong word? Hopefully a small hiccup, looking forward to visiting the new garden area.”

Paul Baker added: “Should be ethics surely?”

It comes just a couple of weeks after the council hit the headlines when residents spotted a bus stop sign had been painted ‘bos stop’ in St Mark’s Crescent.

The Royal Borough started work on the memorial garden in November, with a proposed budget of £100k to build the memorial set aside in the budget’s capital programme of 15/16.

Sir Nicholas, who died in July 2015 aged 106, orchestrated the evacuation of 669 mainly Jewish children from Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Second World War. He arranged for them to be put on trains to London.

The garden, which is due to open in the summer, has an ornamental pond and fountain, an information panel and rocks with engraved quotes from Sir Nicholas.

Concerns have also been raised on social media about a group of children spotted playing in the fountain at the weekend, with some people believing this was disrespectful.

A spokesman from the Royal Borough said: “The quotes were selected with the approval of Sir Nicholas Winton’s family and a supplier has been asked to remove and rectify one plaque after a small spelling error was spotted. As a public open space, and one that has been built in tribute to such an inspiring man, we would hope that all users respect the area.

“There are plans for a number of schemes that will involve the community in the space including an official opening ceremony in the near future.”

Nick Winton, Sir Nicholas’ son, said: “My father was fond of children and the memorial garden is meant to be for the benefit of everyone.

“Provided the children don’t disturb others who come to the park to reflect and enjoy the surroundings it seems an unexpected and inventive use of the facilities.

“I imagine the council hadn’t anticipated the fountain as a play area when they designed it. If they feel it is unsuitable for children it may encourage them to build something especially designed for children.”


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  • Mikethecabbie

    14:02, 25 May 2017

    I was there with my boys Saturday lunchtime when there were other children playing in the fountain and pool. Given the unfinished nature of the product, my concern was principally for safety, and I reprimanded my three on that subject. However, the other children seemed to be having a happy time and annoying nobody... Sir Nicholas went to a lot of trouble to give 669 children a chance at a happy childhood. If a future generation find happiness without physically damaging a garden dedicated to his memory, then let it be. Let's use the place to teach our children about his story, and imprint a worthy example on their minds.



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