Cromer Town Council slam war memorial ‘insult’ following funding bid frustration

Councillor David Pritchard at the Cromer war memorial at the launch of the restoration project.
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Councillor David Pritchard at the Cromer war memorial at the launch of the restoration project. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The authority responsible for the protection and conservation of war memorials in the UK has revealed it will not support restoration work in Cromer to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War unless town councillors ditch plans to engrave the names of those killed in subsequent conflicts on its monument.

Cromer war memorial was packed with representatives of organisations throughout the town wishing to

Cromer war memorial was packed with representatives of organisations throughout the town wishing to pay their respects on Remembrance Sunday. Picture: ALLY McGILVRAY - Credit: Archant

Cromer Town Council had applied to the War Memorials Trust to pay for almost half the cost of repairs to the statue outside the parish church - last estimated at £42,000.

However, it revealed it was unable to meet its tight restrictions after inviting the public to sponsor the lettering of new names added as part of a fundraising campaign which has so far raised £23,282.

Councillors also planned to replace the damaged figures on the memorial while conservationists argued they should be kept.

Councillor David Pritchard, chairman of the town council's works and general purposes committee branded the suggestion 'insulting'. And members agreed to write to the trust to express their disappointment.

The Cromer war memorial. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Cromer war memorial. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017


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Concern was raised that if only parts of the figures were replaced they would continue to deteriorate and require repllacing in future.

And, at this month's meeting of Cromer Town Council, members heard money raised through the sponsorship of the names may have to be refunded if they pursued the application.

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Councillor David Pritchard, chairman of the town council's works and general purposes committee branded the suggestion 'insulting'. And members agreed to write to the trust to express their disappointment.

Now Cromer Town Council has agreed to step in with an offer of up to £20,000 of the money it saved from the reinstatement of memorials at the cemetery so the long-awaited work can start. It had earmarked £50,000 from the project but only £20,000 was spent.

It also follows reports that the town is set to bank almost £70,000 in income from the crematorium in its first year - more than double initial estimates.

Cromer mayor Tim Adams said: 'I think we were led down the garden path by the War Memorials Trust. The disappointment is huge.'

But, welcoming the town council funding, Councillor Andreas Yiasimi added: 'It's something we should be proud of. It's a reminder.'

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