Archive

Tag Archives: Restoration

Historic Scotland have recently produced a short guide entitled The Repair and Maintenance of War Memorials.

This is a free guide which gives custodians valuable information about the environmental risks to war memorials and the types of materials used to maintain them. It also makes recommendations for the most appropriate courses of action for maintenance and conservation. 

Along with this guide, you can also seek expert advice on any matters relating to conservation of war memorials from War Memorials Trust, which is the UK advisory body for the conservation and restoration of war memorials.

 

Advertisements

This article was submitted by UKNIWM volunteer Wendy White:

The Jacksdale Soldier in 1921

The Jacksdale Soldier in 1921

Jacksdale War Memorial stands at the heart of a Nottinghamshire village, on a triangle of land at the junction of Main Road and Wagstaffe Lane. Unveiled in 1921 in memory of the men from the local districts of Jacksdale, Pye Hill and Westwood who fell in the Great War, the memorial was impressive, some 14 feet high, topped with a life-size statue of a soldier, carved from Carrara marble.  And so stood the soldier in silent tribute, until one morning in early 1959, the villagers awoke to find the statue in pieces on the ground. Stories as to how it happened vary; the general consensus is that it was the result of storm damage. A public meeting was convened shortly afterwards to take suggestions as to the course of action to follow. On the advice of the local ( and original) stonemasons, J Beresford & Son, the Council decided to cap the memorial, placing two stepped tablets beneath the capping piece.     

Jacksdale Memorial Following 1997 Renovation

Jacksdale Memorial Following 1997 Renovation

By 1996 the memorial started to show the effects of neglect and pollution, with dirty, stained stonework and letters missing from the names and inscriptions, making them difficult to read.  Action was needed to save the memorial, and the Jacksdale Memorial Restoration Group was founded. Soliciting the help of local business, public subscription and with various grants, the sum of £1,500 was raised, but this was short of the £3,000 needed. As the memorial was placed directly outside the local Co-operative buildings the company was approached. The Co-op not only pledged to provide the balance but also their own craftsmen to refurbish the stonework in time for a rededication ceremony on the 13th of April 1997.

In 2007, a local initiative was launched to bring back Jacksdale’s soldier. This was very much helped by Jeff North, a local volunteer.  It appears to have been a journey not without its difficulties and frustrations; fund raising, planning permissions, structural surveys on the memorial, remedial work for safety, locating a stonemason and commissioning the new statue.  The final happy outcome is that on the 14th June 2009 at 2.00 pm there will be a service of rededication when the new Soldier will be unveiled, followed by a host of community events on the day. A wonderful example of how community spirit ensures that the memory of those lost  in both World Wars continues to be honoured.

A series of free artist-led events will be taking place over the next few months as part of the Heritage Lottery-funded project to restore Stoneham War Shrine. We were interested to see that these include an exhibition, workshops and a talk by Prof. Mark Connelly which will be exploring the spontaneous and immediate purpose of war shrines, focusing on their responsive, temporary nature. Further information about the events can be found on the North Stoneham website.  

Further to my blog of 15 July, Tynwald, the Isle of Man’s parliament, has approved the establishment of the Isle of Man Government Preservation of War Memorials Committee to encourage the appropriate preservation and the safekeeping of all HM Forces, Merchant Navy and other War Memorials, and War Graves, within the individual areas across the Island and to keep a public register.   

 

This is great news. Whilst many of the memorials located on the Isle of Man are in good condition, this new committee will provide protection for the few which are in out of the way places or not as well known as well as ensure the long term preservation of all the war memorials on the Isle of Man.
 

The committee, consisting of up to seven members from the parliament and the public, will be responsible for: 

  • ensuring a proper registration of War Memorials throughout the Isle of Man; 
  • encouraging the proper maintenance and upkeep of such Memorials; and
  • avoiding the destruction of, or overseeing the removal of, such Memorials by encouraging the owners or custodians to advise the Committee that such is likely prior to such actions being taken so as to enable the Committee to ascertain any actions that may be appropriate for them to safeguard the Memorial. 

I wonder if any more government bodies or local councils will follow suit?

The local residents of Charminster, West Dorset have decided that it is time to stop the further deterioration of their local war memorial outside St Mary’s Church. The memorial to members of the village who died in World War One and World War Two, has withstood the elements for 90 years, but is now showing signs of wear to the stone and lettering. Local resident Graham Matthews hopes the newly launched Charminster War Memorial Restoration Project will ‘raise the £2200 needed to sympathetically clean the memorial, re-cut approximately 100 letters and hand paint about 1400 letters/numerals. Our intention is then to hold a rededication service for the community’.

Charminster War Memorial

Charminster War Memorial

 

The website for the project explains that although the memorial may not be unique, it ‘does represent our community’s chosen method of remembrance. Some of the names of those recorded on the memorial may only be remembered on our memorial making it important to preserve it to commemorate that individual’s sacrifice’. This project is one of the vital local war memorial restoration projects that are currently being initiated up and down the country. To find out more you can visit the website at www.charminsterwarmemorial.org.uk

A new grants scheme is being launched today by Historic Scotland and War Memorials Trust.  Funding will be available to ensure that freestanding memorials across Scotland are preserved in recognition of the contribution service men and women have made for their country.

Historic Scotland will provide £30,000 annually to War Memorials Trust who will provide additional funds and be responsible for distributing the grants.  War memorials eligible for conservation grants are freestanding monuments such as obelisks, crosses and statues. 

The scheme can grant aid up to 75% of the total eligible cost of the works to a maximum of £7,500 per project.  See the press release for further information about the launch of the scheme.

Anyone interested in applying for a grant in Scotland (or elsewhere in the UK) is advised to visit the WMT Small Grants Scheme information page to learn more about the available funding or to contact the Conservation Officer on 020 7881 0862 or conservation@warmemorials.org or the Trust Manager or Administrator on 020 7259 0403 or info@warmemorials.org.

It’s recommended that war memorials be surveyed regularly to inspect their condition and identify any potential risks or conservation work that might required.  While this is straightforward enough in many cases, some memorials pose more of a challenge!

Aberystwyth war memorial is a 25-metre tall column, topped by a bronze, winged female figure representing victory.  Standing on the seafront, it has been exposed to the elements for over eighty years.  In order to assess its current condition, a team of climbers will abseil down the column with video equipment and the film footage will be viewed by a team of specialist conservators on the ground.

Read more from News Wales

On the subject of the Aberystwyth war memorial, the ‘Gathering the Jewels’ website has some fascinating archive footage of its unveiling in 1923.

Click here to see the film clips