Timely clean-up for city memorial ahead of centenary of First World War's end
PUBLISHED: 17:51 11 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:06 12 September 2018
ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434
One of the most prominent salutes to the county's fallen has been given a timely dose of love and care.
The Norwich war memorial, which stands opposite City Hall, was described as being in a sorry state earlier this year.
However, as the centenary of the First World War end looms, the monument has been given a thorough clean by Norwich City Council in a £2,225 project.
The clean was also carried out in time for the monument to be spick and span as the Battle of Britain parade earlier this week.
Paul Kendrick, the city council’s cabinet member for resources, said: “We just had the Battle of Britain parade and Memorial Day is coming up, so was important to make sure the memorial is looking good.
“It honours not only those who gave their lives, but also those who fought to defend the freedoms we are still lucky enough to have in this country.”
War hero Len Mann, chairman of Norfolk’s Normandy Veterans, who criticised the memorial’s condition in June, welcomed the clean-up.
Mr Mann, 94, said: “I am yet to have the opportunity to see it since, but I am very glad it has been cleaned.
“Each year we visit Normandy and the graves are kept in pristine condition, so when memorials in this country not looked after it does upset us.”
The memorial has stood opposite City Hall since 1938, but previously faced in the opposite direction, towards the marketplace.
However, following a campaign it was turned towards City Hall to allowing it to face veterans as they parade down St Peter’s Street.
Stephen Brown, of NPS, the company which carried out the clean for the city council, said it was “a great honour” to be involved in the project.
He said that given the memorial had listed status, the clean-up had to be done using specific measures to ensure it can be restored without any damages.
He added: “Some people feel memorials should be kept pristine, however, others feel they should be left alone out of respect, therefore the key thing is striking a balance between these two views.”