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Villagers rally round to restore Hoddlesden war memorial
THE war memorial in Hoddlesden has been restored to its former glory thanks to village fundraisers.
Public conscription paid for a stone cenotaph and four matching urns to be placed in the centre of the village green in the 1920s, to honour the dead of the First World War.
The names of 44 soldiers from the East Rural area who were killed in the war were added, as was a panel for those who died in the Second World War, plus the name of SAS Lance Corporal Philip Jones, 28, of Hoddlesden, who died in a Sea King helicopter crash during the Falklands War.
But heavy rainfall caused the mortar in the cenotaph steps to become loose and dangerous, and the urns had also cracked badly due to constant freeze-thaw processes.
But members of the East Rural Network, an action group made up of residents, business people and councillors representing areas including Pickup Bank, Belthorn, Waterside, Eccleshill, and Hoddlesden, were determined to save the memorial.
Diane Hornby, East Rural Network secretary, said: “We received a grant of £1,287 from the War Memorials Trust to do up the memorial, and got matched funding from an absolute star of a local businessman.
“He gave about 50 per cent of the money, and there were donations from other people as well, towards the total bill of £2,927.”
Members spent six months researching the names of the fallen and painting the railings surrounding the memorial gardens.
The work was undertaken by Brent Stephenson Memorials.
Diane added: “It has three steps and an obelisk and there were gaps of about an inch between all of the steps, so they took everything apart, rebidded it and put it back together.
“We are very happy with the work. It looks fabulous.”
The East Rural Network has previously campaigned to repair dry stone walls in the area which it said were being damaged by HGVs travelling up narrow country lanes.
And it launched a tourism initiative featuring a booklet of walks around beauty spots to bring ramblers into the countryside.
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