Revamp projects for war memorials

Major works will be carried out to the Second World War memorial in Ridley Park, centre, and discussions are taking place with Northumberland County Council about improvement works to the steps leading up to the memorials.
Major works will be carried out to the Second World War memorial in Ridley Park, centre, and discussions are taking place with Northumberland County Council about improvement works to the steps leading up to the memorials.
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Moves are under way to carry out repair and restoration works on three war memorials in the Blyth area.

The largest project will be the Ridley Park Second World War memorial – this will cost about £35,000 – and schemes are planned for the ones at Cowpen and Newsham.

Elswick (Blyth) All Arms Association donated £1,000 to start the fund.

The veterans group, in conjunction with Blyth Town Council and other associations, propose to raise the money for each project through grants and public subscriptions.

The Cowpen memorial has had the rifle which the soldier was holding in the reverse order position broken off.

It is proposed that the new rifle be sculptured in white/grey granite stone with stainless steel pins fixing it to the statue. The cost is approximately £2,000 and work on this has started with the order being placed with a local stone mason. The group is also looking at the potential for replacing the soldier.

The intention for the memorial in Newsham is to make new columns, repair small areas and, if necessary, replace the name panels with new stonework.

The funding required will be in the region of £10,000.

In Ridley Park, the current Second World War memorial is a raised slab of stone with two bronze plaques on it listing the names of the service personnel from the area who died during the conflict.

On either side of it are the First World War and Boer War memorials.

Describing the proposals, Elswick (Blyth) All Arms Association President Major (Retd) Derek Fairbairn said: “This memorial has sunk at the rear approximately 300mm and is cracked and broken in several places, as well as the bronze plaques that will need renovating.

“It will be removed entirely, the area piled and the base will be three polished granite steps with a white granite obelisk put in its place.

“The two existing bronze plaques will be renovated and fitted to the front of the memorial and the left and right sides will have new plaques fitted to take the names of those missing from the current memorials and of those who died in conflicts since the Second World War.”

Any public subscriptions and donations can be made out to the association C/O Blyth Town Council, Arms Evertyne House, Quay Road, NE24 2AS.

For more information, email Major Fairbairn – dwf@medals.me.uk