The Town Council is responsible for the war memorials at Ridley Park, Newsham Pavilion and Cowpen. To date the memorials have been cleaned and some minor repairs have been made but major refurbishment is required in the future.
At Ridley Park the Second World War memorial is a raised slab of stone which requires extensive restoration as the rear has sunk. The bronze plaques also need renovating. On either side of this are the First World War and Boer War memorials that also need upgrading.
The plan for the Newsham memorial is to have new columns made and replace the name panels with new stonework.
The soldier on the Cowpen memorial is in need of extensive refurbishment or replacement and the lettering on the plaques needs to be repainted. The soldier’s gun, which had broken off, has been replaced by The Elswick (Blyth) All Arms Association using funding they have raised.
The Town Council is working with Major (Rtd) Derek Fairbairn, President of The Elswick (Blyth) All Arms Association to raise the necessary funds through grants and public subscription to complete the refurbishment of the existing memorials and additional improvements.
An application to the War Memorials Trust was submitted by the Town Council in summer 2016 for part funding for the refurbishment work – the funding cannot be used for new improvements. Their Conservation Officer visited in December 2016 to survey the memorials. He recommended a full condition survey be obtained from conservation accredited professional advisors which we are now in the process of doing.
The application process is ongoing and updates will be given when available but if you would like further information please contact Sean Robinson, Environmental Services Officer, on any of the office contact details.
Some provision has been made in the Town Council’s 2017/18 budget (subject to approval at the Full Council meeting on 19 January 2017) towards the refurbishment work expected to be required and The Elswick (Blyth) All Arms Association continue to fundraise for further improvements. If anyone would like to make a donation to the Elswick (Blyth) All Arms fund they can do so via the Blyth Town Council office – please contact us for details.