Accrington war memorial may get £50k revamp



First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Hyndburn reporter

A WAR memorial in Accrington could be set to undergo a £50,000 renovation, it was revealed.

The cenotaph, in Oakhill Park, Manchester Road, will be repointed and have its slate name plaques replaced if, as expected, planners agree.

A new flagged area will be installed and planter walls will be rebuilt, planning documents show.

The Grade II listed memorial, designed by Sir Charles Reilly, is the largest in Hyndburn and is dedicated largely to the Accrington Pals.

The appearance of the monument will not be affected, documents say, although several spelling mistakes on the green Welsh slate name plaques will be corrected after advice from ‘a local historian’. And while the cost of the scheme is unknown, local councillor Tony Dobson said he expects the public to support the project.

He said: “The cenotaph is in decent nick but considering where we are with our history, as long as we are not spending hundreds of thousands, it’s something we should be doing.

“As a council, we are trying to push the commemorative events in Hyndburn so we need to make sure everything is how it should be.

“Nine out of 10 people will think keeping our heritage and keeping the memorial presentable at this time in our history will be a good use of public money.”

Council leader Miles Parkinson said: “We have worked up a scheme and have submitted a planning application for the cleaning, re-pointing, new paved area, re-building of planter stone retaining walls and possible renewal of some of the slate name plaques.

“We have an initial budget estimate for the majority of the works of £14,600 without replacing the slate name plaques, this will increase potentially by a further £49,300 if all the slate name plaques require replacing.”

The imposing war memorial was originally built to remember those who fell in the First World War. It was unveiled in July 1922. The names of the Accrington men who died in the First World War are etched on the memorial, with casualties from the Second World War also recorded on an additional plaque.

Those who died during the troubles in Northern Ireland, and during the Falklands Conflict are also remembered there.

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