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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 The soldier’s gun, which had broken off, has been replaced by The Elswick (Blyth) All Arms Association using funding they have raised.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 David Clough, General 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.
Blyth Town Council have three war memorials which over the coming months are going to be restored and cleaned.
The Cenotaph at Ridley Park is made up of three memorials.
At present the World War 2 memorial has been dismantled, as reports have indicated that the memorial has subsided. As part of the restoration work it is necessary to correct this before any other works commence. During the time the memorial has been dismantled the granite and all the plates with the names of those who gave their lives have been cleaned.
The World War 2 memorial is in the process of being re-assembled and the Boer War and World War 1 memorial are being cleaned and the names re-painted.
Following this, work will begin on the restoration work at the memorial at Newsham Pavillion which involves work on restoring names and painting the same. At Cowpen, a new statue has been ordered and prior to it being delivered the original will be removed and the bottom of the memorial will be cleaned and repainted.
A major refurbishment programme is also in place for Ridley Park which we anticipate will begin early June and be completed by late July. This involves the replacement of the existing paving on the steps and top of the Cenotaph with granite paving, the front of the cenotaph will be made wider and an access path will be installed to link the parade ground to the top of the cenotaph for those less able. The parade ground is currently covered with chipping, this will also be covered with granite paving.
Further photos will be added as the restoration work is ongoing and the refurbishment work when it commences, which you will be able to view in the Gallery, or by clicking here.
For more information on War Memorials Click Here