May 25 2013 Latest news:
Friday, February 15, 2013
An outspoken parish councillor has blasted a planned war memorial as “a total waste of money”, arguing cash should be “spent on people who are alive”.
Though Bradwell villagers called for a monument to the first and second world war fallen, Cllr John Shaw said he would prefer cash to be spent on a bandstand.
Mr Shaw, 82, was a lone voice of opposition when the ruby red granite memorial - costing more than £4,000 - was approved by the parish council, and is steadfast in his belief.
“It’s almost 100 years since the first world war and our council is going to spend something like £5,000,” he fumed. “I think that’s a total waste of money.
“It could be better spent on people who are alive, but I was out-voted.”
The 7ft tall memorial, to be sited near Church Walk, will bear the names of the war dead who are currently listed on brass plaques inside St Nicholas Church.
Relatives of those who lost their lives have welcomed the move, and have said it will help people remember their act of sacrifice as few went into the church to see the names.
But Mr Shaw, who has been a parish councillor for four years, thinks it is time to move on.
“I was brought up in Belgium and it’s full of war graves, so I’m not unsympathetic to the people who died in wars,” he explained. “But I think so long after, it’s a pure waste of money.”
He said he would rather see funds spent on something today’s villagers can enjoy, but admitted he has “not given much thought” to it.
“One thing that comes to mind is something like a bandstand on Green Lane playing fields, and seats round there,” he suggested. “Something that helps the people who are there today, like tarmac path all the way round for people with invalid carriages.”
Asked if many other locals were on his side of the argument, he conceded: “Unfortunately I’m the only one.”
The memorial was made possible by £4,000 of backing from the ward budgets of four borough councillors and the support of the parish council.
It is now taking shape with the help of Colin Smith Monumental Masons, of Hammond Road, Great Yarmouth.
Ted Howlett, chairman of Bradwell Parish Council, said he was pleased the project was progressing and felt there was previously “neglect of people who did give their lives”.
Among those to be honoured are a trooper who was aboard the SS Laconia when she was torpedoed by a U-boat and a major hit by a stray shell in Arras in 1917.
The daughter of the trooper, who lives in Gorleston, said the memorial will finally allow her to “close the book” on things.
It is anticipated that the memorial will be ready around March 2013, ahead of an official ceremony to unveil it to the village.
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Terrorism returned to the streets of London today as two suspected Muslim fanatics butchered a man in broad daylight in the name of “Allah”.
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