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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Carlisle memorial to be repaired before centenary of war

Repairs costing about £14,500 are to be carried out at a Carlisle war memorial.

Carlisle war memorial photo
Carlisle council's Jonathan May inspects the metal railings round memorial

Railings surrounding the towering monument in Rickerby Park have seen better days. Some have their spiked tops missing while the paint on others is flaking off, exposing metal beneath to the elements.

Now work supported by a £3,500 grant from the War Memorials Trust is due to start on Monday.

It is the first phase of work planned by Carlisle City Council for the memorial before the 100th anniversary of World War One in 2014.

Ray Bloxham, the councillor responsible for the environment, said it is important that the landmark is preserved for the future.

He added: “We want to make sure this memorial reflects, as near as possible, what it was before and looks as though somebody cares.

“There are a lot of things that have had to be put on hold or not done at all because of funds, but this is one thing that we owe to past generations.

“This memorial was put there by subscription – the whole park was bought that way. We have to look after it.

“The substantial repair works will improve the look of the monument and will ensure that it’s a fitting tribute to those who served their country and made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Work on the railings will include repairing broken sections, missing finials, rubbing down and repainting, as well as the fabrication of a new entrance gate and lock. Depending on the weather, it is expected to take about four weeks. The city council has contracted Cumbrian building firm Roland Hill to carry out the work.

It will be followed up later – ahead of the war centenary – with landscaping improvements to the ground inside the railings, immediately surrounding the memorial.

Rickerby Park’s memorial – officially called the Cumberland and Westmorland War Memorial – is a grade two-listed scheduled monument.

The railings are also part of that listing.

It was designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, built in 1922 and paid for by the Carlisle Citizens’ League.

The landmark is made up of large blocks of Shape granite ashlar and includes an inscription at the front to the men and women of local regiments who died in the Great War of 1914-18.

It also features the regimental badges with the city and county coats of arms and has a bronze plaque to those who died in World War Two.

It was unveiled by the Earl of Lonsdale as the joint memorial for Cumberland and Westmorland.

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