Ideas proposed to raise funds for memorial

Wreaths at the war memorial. Picture by Andrew Mounsey
Wreaths at the war memorial. Picture by Andrew Mounsey

Ambitious plans to raise funds for crucial repairs to Amble’s War Memorial have been proposed by a former resident who holds the town in great affection.

Vital work, costing in the region of £30,000, is needed to the Grade II-listed monument, following water damage caused by five footballs and a tennis ball on the roof, which blocked the drainage system and flooded the roof.

The War Memorials Trust has indicated that it might be able to help with funding up to 75 per cent of the repairs, including preventative measures, while the town council has provisionally put money aside in its draft budget for 2017/18.

However, John Cole, who was born and raised in Amble and is now a Cramlington Town councillor, has said he would like to trigger a series of fund-raising events to aid the repair work and he has put forward a number of ideas.

He voiced his intentions in an email to Amble Town Council clerk Elaine Brown and his correspondence was read out at last Thursday night’s meeting.

Mr Cole said: “I am very fond of my home town and would love to see the war memorial clock working again. It has to be one of the finest of its kind and I would like to trigger a series of fund-raisers to raise money for the project.

“As a small boy, I spent a lot of time with my grandad on one of those old benches at the bottom end of the memorial. We would have a weekly catch up with my Uncle Billy. They both served in the Royal Merchant Navy and partly because of this connection, it would do my old heart good to see that clock working again.

“I was inspired by the tremendous efforts of the RNLI team which raised £200,000 in less than two years for the new Shannon lifeboat.”

He said that his proposals are in their infancy, but ideas include a gig at Amble Club featuring former chart group Prelude, getting local businesses on board and selling T-shirts in aid of the Amble Memorial Clock Restoration Project.

Councillors voiced their support and suggested organising a public meeting to gauge interest and thrash out ideas.

Amble Mayor Jane Dargue said: “I think it is absolutely fantastic.”