As part of this year’s celebrations marking the end of WW1, Ashfield District Council are working with local and national organisations to ensure the survival of war memorials for the next 100 years.
We realise the sensitivities around cleaning of the war memorials, however self cleaning could cause irreparable damage to memorials in Ashfield. We have taken advice from the War Memorials Trust, whose advice is not to clean them at all in order to ensure that they are protected for future generations. This advice is issued regarding all war memorials nationally. The Trust’s clear advice is don’t clean, unless the dirt is causing the damage (ie industrial pollution).
The majority of memorials in Ashfield are Grade 2 listed and therefore legal permissions must be gained for any intervention. This is not about the cost, the money is available, but after taking professional advice, other levels of restoration are needed first, for example restoration of lettering, cracks in the stone work and mortaring. The age of the memorials is part of their significance.
This year, attendances are expected to be higher in war memorials across our District. Many people will be visiting war memorials to pay their respects to those who fell during WW1 and all conflicts since then.
War memorials are an important part of a community, with many dating back to 1920s. Ashfield District Council intends to take a long-term approach to restoration and conservation of the memorials, so that they are here for another 100 years.
The Council’s Conservation Officer will be working with the War Memorials Trust and the Royal British Legion to develop a programme of survey and repair works.
Cllr Jason Zadrozny, Leader of Ashfield District Council says “The areas around Ashfield’s war memorials will be professionally surveyed, restored and where necessary cleaned as part of a longer term legacy approach. Red flowers are being planted ready for Remembrance Day. This is an especially poignant year and we are doing lots as a Council to remember those who gave so much. As it’s the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1, we are working hard with local and national organisations to maintain our war memorials for the next 100 years.
“People care a lot about the war memorials in our communities, but it is important that they are professionally cleaned and maintained to ensure they are preserved for the future. We therefore we ask that local residents and community groups don’t undertake any cleaning of the memorials themselves.”
Brian Dykes, British Legion Branch Chairman (Kirkby in Ashfield) says “We must never forget that they served their Country and did their duty and made the ultimate sacrifice. I am pleased that Ashfield District Council are making a huge effort again this year.”