Councillor's call for Tewkesbury's war memorial to be moved
A CALL to move Tewkesbury's war memorial has outraged some members of the community.
Town councillor John Badham said The Cross should be switched to another location within Tewkesbury, perhaps by the abbey.
Speaking at a town council meeting, he said: "You can't see the names on it for more than an hour a year, when the road is temporarily closed for Remembrance Day. We should move it so it's out of the area."
His suggestion was not supported by other town councillors but Mr Badham remained defiant. "I wasn't trying to be popular. I was just telling you what I think," he said.
Take advantage of this fantastic offer to sell your property for a fee of just 1% + VAT until February 2014.
Terms: Minimum fee £1250 + VAT. Based on a sole agency agreement.
Contact: 01242 460702
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
After the meeting, he said moving The Cross to a spot away from traffic would enable people to view the names of the fallen in safety and in a quieter atmosphere. Its current location is at one of Tewkesbury's busiest junctions, which links High Street with Barton Street and Church Street.
Mr Badham said: "Sooner or later The Cross will disappear into a puff of traffic smoke or someone will drive their vehicle into it."
But another town councillor, Philip Workman, was outraged by the idea. "Any suggestion to move the war memorial is outrageous," he said.
"The position of it in the centre of the town is important as this is a constant reminder to all, as we regularly pass it either by car, bike or on foot, of the sacrifice many local people made on our behalf.
"I can not feel that to move The Cross from the heart of the town can be anything other than disrespectful.
"When I was town mayor, it was with huge pride that I was able to lay a wreath on Remembrance Sunday on behalf of the town's people.
"The traffic was silenced for a while and residents of all ages encircled this wonderful memorial, each paying respect. It must stay put.
"I understand the desire to see the list of names more easily but I am sure a prominent place in the town can be made to achieve this."
Peter Minshull, chairman of the Royal British Legion's Tewkesbury branch, said: "It needs to be where it is. It shouldn't be moved in my opinion. That's where the people donated the money for The Cross to be."
He felt the names of the fallen could be put on display elsewhere. But other people felt Mr Badham's idea might be worth investigating.
John Dixon, president of Tewkesbury Historical Society, said: "Providing there could be agreement as to where it could go to, I can see an argument for moving it."
He said the memorial was installed in 1922 when traffic was not an issue as it is now.
And he added that there had been a previous plan to move The Cross, in 1949 when the suggestion was to put it behind the town hall as part of the proposed riverside walk.
Tewkesbury Museum's curator, Maggie Thornton, said: "It would be a lovely thing for people to read the names and stand in peace around The Cross."
The town council is trying to raise nearly £10,000 to pay for essential repairs to the memorial.