War memorial is given a fresh look

The team from Kevin Tilmouth and Art of Stone at the renovated cenotaph.
The team from Kevin Tilmouth and Art of Stone at the renovated cenotaph.

A memorial to those who have given their lives to their country has a fresh new look.

The monument in Ridley Park, Blyth, which commemorates those from the town who lost their lives in the Boer War, First World War, Second World War and recent conflicts, has been renovated.

A team from Kevin Tilmouth and Art of Stone in Blyth have carried out the work, which included underpinning the monument with steel and concrete to prevent it falling over, and rebuilding and widening the steps leading up to it, which now number 11 in commemoration of the Armistice date.

A disabled access ramp, complete with handrail, also leads up to the dais.

The former gravel surround has been removed and re-flagged with granite, and in the middle a specially made All Arms Association badge has been installed. The badge was crafted by Blyth stone mason Mark Topping, from Art of Stone.

The area has also been completely re-landscaped.

Three of the men working on the project, Kevin Tilmouth, Stephen Aldus and Shaun Oliver, are former ex-servicemen, having served with the First Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

Kevin said: “It gave us all an extra sense of pride carrying out this work.”

The original monument stood near the Thomas Knight Memorial hospital in Beaconsfield Street. It was unveiled by the Duke of Northumberland in 1923, having being designed by the Blyth borough surveyor Mr Leiper and built by T & G Cocks of Blyth.

It was funded by public subscription. It was moved to its present location in 1950 when the Boer War Memorial and the Second World War memorials were added.