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Burnley park memorial has become a ‘public ashtray’
A RUN-down memorial to a teenager who sacrificed his life while trying to save a drowning youngster could be restored by campaigners.
David Dixon, 15, sacrificed his own life while trying to rescue Harry Hartley, who had slipped underneath the ice at the frozen Pheasantford Reservoir.
Two other boys, John Moore and Harry Tattersall, survived the January 1899 tragedy but David and Harry, aged just nine, perished.
The water feature was erected by public subscription and stands on what is now park land off Ennismore Street.
Now former mayor Coun John Harbour has pledged an investigation into the restoration of the rusting 113 year old tribute, amid claims it is being used as a ‘public ash-tray’.
Coun Harbour said: “I accept that the memorial is in need of renovation. I think we have a record of renovating memorials and the council has worked with a number of friends’ groups.
“I will ask our parks officers to look into the possibility of restoration costs and consult with residents’ groups and see if they say this is a priority.
“If it is then I will support them in putting forward a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund.”
Coun Roger Frost, who has written books on Burnley’s history, has also put himself forward to help with the restoration.
He added: “It might be possible to put together a Heritage Lottery Fund bid for this memorial and if anyone wants my assistance I would be prepared to help.”
The memorial issue was raised by John Rowe, of Tennis Street, at a Burnley council meeting.
He said: “It should be restored as a mark of respect. It is currently used as a receptacle for fag ends.”
David Dixon, of Devonshire Road, and Harry Hartley, of Cleaver Street, who both attended the Ebenezer Baptist Sunday School, were buried in Haggate Cemetery.