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'It's unnecessary' - town councillor brands war memorial couple out of order

PUBLISHED: 06:00 18 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:33 18 July 2019

A couple photographed eating their lunch while sitting on Cromer’s War Memorial have been called ‘disrespectful’ and ‘ignorant’ after the image sparked outrage online. Picture: Bridgette Dowsing

A couple photographed eating their lunch while sitting on Cromer's War Memorial have been called 'disrespectful' and 'ignorant' after the image sparked outrage online. Picture: Bridgette Dowsing

Archant

A Cromer councillor has branded a couple photographed eating their lunch while sitting on the town's war memorial "out of order."

David Pritchard, a town councillor in Cromer, has spoken out about the photo of the elderly pair, which showed them on the bottom tier of the memorial, which was shared online on Tuesday and received hundreds of comments.

He said: "It is disrespectful because people underwent real hard work getting the funds together for the £42,000 refurbishments.

"It is disgraceful to see people sitting and standing on the memorial when there are plenty benches and low walls for people to sit on.

"People do not need to sit on the memorial. It is out of order."

Sign stating not to leave litter or climb on the memorial  Picture: DAVID PRITCHARDSign stating not to leave litter or climb on the memorial Picture: DAVID PRITCHARD

The controversy comes just four months after a man was photographed sitting on the top tier of the memorial during Cromer's Vintage 1960s Festival and has renewed calls for the memorial to be fenced off.

There is a sign at the base of the memorial asking people not to climb onto the structure.

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Bridgette Dowsing, who posted the picture, said: "Despite asking them not to sit on the War Memorial and pointing out the sign, she did get up to read it.

A man was photographed seated on the towns war memorial during the Cromer Vintage 1960s Festival on Saturday, March 30. Photo: FIONA CRASKEA man was photographed seated on the towns war memorial during the Cromer Vintage 1960s Festival on Saturday, March 30. Photo: FIONA CRASKE

"She said 'the dead won't mind'. They continued eating even though there were seats elsewhere."

In a poll that this newspaper ran, and more than 600 people responded to, 58pc of people thought it was disrespectful to sit on a war memorial.

Comments on the social media post have urged Cromer Town Council to put a fence around the memorial to stop people sitting and standing on it.

Mr Pritchard said: "I would not like to see a fence around the memorial. Once the memorial does have a fence it becomes enclosed and I would not like to see that.

Cromer's restored war memoral. Picture: STUART ANDERSONCromer's restored war memoral. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

"We use the memorial to lay wreathes not just on remembrance day , but D-Day too. The wreaths would then not be visible to the public."

Some people did not understand why the pair were being called disrespectful, Clair Hurd said: "They aren't damaging it, I'm not sure they can be classed as disrespectful.

"If they were spray painting it or defacing it in some way then yes, it's disrespectful but I don't think sitting quietly to have a bite to eat is that bad."

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