Warship Weeks were held across Britain in 1941 and were vital fundraisers for the Government. The story of how Marple came to adopt minesweeper HMS Maple was lost to memory until one phone call brought events back to the surface.
75 years after the citizens of Marple raised £75,000 to adopt HMS Maple, the plaque commemorating this feat has been placed in Marple Memorial Park, near to the War Memorial. The plaque was acquired by Bernard Mifflin, local resident and art teacher at The Willows School, and spent over 30 years in his garden. It has been donated to MLHS by his niece, Julie Clay.
In this video created by Friends of Marple Memorial Park volunteer Anne Frazer, who worked to requirements of the Imperial War Museum so that it could be placed in their archives, Leslie Howard and Noel Coward help to explain and we see how a new community effort has restored an important piece of history to pride of place.
HMS Maple - Marple's own minesweeper
Wars are expensive, and the government needed more money than could be raised by taxation. As a result it asked the people to lend money in various ways that would be repaid after the war. Persuading people to invest was not easy and the government used local savings campaigns, advertisements and posters to appeal to patriotic instincts. In particular, communities were encouraged to compete against each other to raise the most money. These National Savings Campaigns were usually for a one-week period and went under titles such as War Weapons Week, Wings for Victory or Salute the Soldier.