‘Disgraceful’ repair work on memorial

One of the buckled plaques
One of the buckled plaques

BRIDLINGTON Town Council has fired off another angry letter over the state of the town’s war memorial.

At their meeting last Wednesday evening members agreed to write to the Chief Executive of East Riding of Yorkshire Council over its response to their letter complaining about shoddy workmanship when the memorial was refurbished last September.

Urging the council to write to the chief executive of ERYC, Coun Cyril Marsburg described the authority’s response that the £20,000 spent on repairing it had been simply to “prevent it from collapsing and it was not the intention to fully refurbish the memorial” as absolutely disgraceful.

“I worked in the building trade for many years. If I had dished out work like that I would not have got any pay, I think it is absolutely disgraceful,” said Coun Marsburg.

He said it had been patched up in places with broken, re-used stone when they should have got some new stone, and plaques bearing the names of the fallen had buckled and bowed since being replaced.

Coun Michael Charlesworth agreed, saying: “We did not expect a patching-up operation, it still looks a shambles.”

The letter they received from Paul Kilvington, building facilities manager, said they had inherited the faults of previous work carried out more than 20 years ago and said although plaques had been cleaned and lacquer-protected, ideally the name plaques should be replaced as they have been damaged for years and the cleaning had exaggerated their poor condition.

In their letter, accompanied by photographs of the memorial, to ERYC chief executive Nigel Pearson, the town council states they want a complete refurbishment, considering the shoddy workmanship, surrounding stones condition and colour, adding: “The fact that the plaques are buckled and bent is totally inappropriate for such an important commemorative attribute in Bridlington.”

Coun Marsburg said the letter had laid the blame at the door of the former Bridlington Borough Council.

“I was on the planning committee at that time and certainly would have remembered any such decision with reference to the memorial.

“Over the years I, as well as the British Legion and other service organisations, have repeatedly requested for the monument to be refurbished. The remit was total refurbishment not part, there were grants available from the War Memorial Organisation for this type of work to be carried out if applied for,” said Coun Marsburg.

The latest work on the memorial memorial which took around six weeks to complete, involved involved taking down part of the memorial and rebuilding it using the the original stonework.

The work was needed because it was starting to lean and becoming unsalfe, but also there had been complaints from local residents and organisations that it looked shabby.

It was completed in time for last year’s remembrance service but at the time Coun Marsburg accused East Riding of Yorkshire Council of shoddy craftsmanship.

In 2007 the memorial was labelled the most neglected in the country by Barry Mitchell, Bridlington In Bloom chairman who said it was an insult to the names on it.