Save the Cross campaign launched in bid to repair Tewkesbury’s war memorial
TODAY, the Tewkesbury Echo is joining forces with the town council to help raise the money needed to repair the town’s historic stone war memorial.
We have launched Save the Cross to back the council’s bid to raise nearly £10,000 to restore the Cross. Built after the end of the First World War, it has begun to crumble in places and the authority has had scaffolding put up to prevent falling masonry from damaging passing vehicles.
So far, the council has spent more than £2,000 on cleaning the memorial and making it secure with scaffolding.
But it has now revealed that it needs a total of £9,722 to carry out major structural repairs.
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With the council already struggling to make ends meet due to various other demands, it is appealing to the public for financial help.
Councillor Kevin Cromwell, chairman of its amenities committee, said: “The town council has limited resources so we’re appealing for the people of Tewkesbury’s help.
“It is our memorial and means a lot to the people of the town so please donate.”
As custodians of the memorial to those who lost their lives while serving their country, the council plans to begin the repairs as soon as possible.
Mr Cromwell said the main column and the cross on top of it would have to be temporarily removed to allow a closer examination of the structure’s original frame.
He said: “We don’t know what’s in there at the moment, and without taking it down we won’t know. Once we have, we’ll put it back together with a large stainless steel rod in it.”
The work, he said, would could take up to two weeks but would not impact on traffic as it would be done from within the area currently occupied by the scaffolding.
Editor Kevan Blackadder said: “The Tewkesbury Echo is launching this campaign because it is vital the Cross is preserved for future generations. It stands at the heart of the town and must be an ongoing memorial to all those who have given their lives.”
Council bosses hope people will be generous with their donations, ahead of next year’s centenary of the beginning of the First World War.
Money can be given in person at the town hall in High Street.
Details of how to help can also be obtained by ringing the council’s office on 01684 294639 or Mr Cromwell on 07860230711. He hopes to get some of the money needed through grants from organisations such as the War Memorials Trust and the borough council.
The council put up the scaffolding in December after discovering the problem while the Cross was being cleaned for the first time since 1994.