A VILLAGE’S fight to save a 129-year-old banner is back on after almost a year’s break.

The Downham Banner, which was made in 1885 to commemorate the centen-ary of the Downham Benevolent Society, has been stored in a box in St Leonard’s Parish Church for several years and is in need of restoration.

The eight-strong Save Downham Banner Group applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for help last year but its application was turned down in November.

The group of residents want the banner to be professionally preserved and put on permanent display at The Museum of Lancashire in Preston.

A meeting will be held next week where a decision will be made whether to resubmit their application to the Herit-age Lottery Fund or to join with another application.

If a future grant is approved the restoration could be undertaken by the conservation depart-ment of the People’s History Museum in Manchester.

The banner is made out of silk with images of the Good Samaritan parable painted on it.

But the condition of the fabric has deteriorated since it has been stored away.

Shortly after the group was established it rec-eived support from Chatburn Primary Sch-ool, Downham Village Hall and Lancashire County Council.

Tom McLean, the group’s co-ordinator, said: “It’s a thing of interest and beauty so it’s worth the effort.

“It took us a long time to recover from not being awarded the funds in November.

“The group has been taking a break and resting to think about what the next move will be.

“There will be a meeting next week to discuss how we are going to move forward.

“Our understanding is that our application was refused because of a lack of grant money available at the time instead of any faults with our plan.

“The project is back on and hopefully we will be successful this time.”