Friday, November 06, 2009

War Memorial at Risk

On the eve of Remembrance Sunday, MP Dr Ashok Kumar called for urgent repairs to be carried out on Saltburn’s war memorial.
Calling on the community, councils and local organisations to join forces to take action he warned that the historic war memorial, which is listed by English Heritage, is described as being officially at risk.
English Heritage says the memorial, near the town’s Glenside, has a “cross with open joints and cracking in its west arm. The surrounding paved area and retaining walls have suffered from subsidence and corrosion is affecting the bronze sculpture.”
The memorial, unveiled in November 1920, two years after the end of the First World War, is an arts and crafts-style obelisk with a bronze sculpture by Sir William Reynolds-Stephens, one of the founder members of the Society of British Sculptors and its president between 1921 and 1929.
Dr Kumar said: “I recently signed a House of Commons early day motion on the need to ensure that we look after our war memorials as monuments to those who have fallen in past wars, and those in the Armed Forces who face danger on active service today. The repair problems facing the Saltburn cenotaph are comparatively minor at the moment, but if they are not addressed, the monument will continue to deteriorate in the salty sea air which I guess is the cause of the corrosion. I feel that, at this time, as we move towards Remembrance Day, all of us representing the local community need to come together to see if we can formulate an action plan to both secure funding for the repairs to the memorial and to start to implement these repairs in time for the 2010 service. To that end, I will be inviting both Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Saltburn, Marske and New Marske Parish Council to join with me to see if we can devise ideas on how to make this actually happen.”
David Knowles, of Saltburn Civic Society’s steering group, said: “This is the kind of project that the society would be interested in, which is why people are working hard to get the group up and running. There are quite a few similar issues across the town and we would hope to be able to work with English Heritage and the council to protect landmarks.”
Coun Sylvia Szintai, cabinet member for the environment, said: “The council is aware of the need for repairs to a number of war memorials across the borough. We are in discussions with English Heritage about repairs for listed memorials, such as the one in Saltburn, and are looking at ways to fund these.”

No comments: