New-look Bamburgh war memorial unveiled in time for Remembrance commemorations

A new-look war memorial was unveiled in Bamburgh in time for remembrance commemorations.

Monday, 11th November 2019, 2:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 9:05 am

The monument, costing about £40,000, has been carved by Andrian Melkha and took its place on the rocky crag below Bamburgh Castle ahead of a special rededication service on Sunday.

“It’s good to see it in place,” he said. “It’s also weird in a way because I had got used to seeing it in my workshop for so long!

“I am proud of it – and happy – because it looks really good in situ.”

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The unveiling of the new Bamburgh war memorial.

“It took about four months to do,” he explained. “There was a lot of work remodelling the old one with all the missing parts that you couldn’t see because of the ravages of time.

“I was then trying to make a replica exactly the same so people could not tell the difference.

Derek Nicholson of Classic Masonry added: “It’s a project we were delighted to take part in.

“It’s quite a rarity for us undertake work on a memorial of this importance and very unusual because it’s a brand new one.

Olivia Coats, eight, from Greenhill, at the unveiling of the new war memorial in Bamburgh.

“It’s a fantastic project, especially knowing it’s nearly 100 years since it was first put there.”

The original war memorial dated from 1920 with alterations following the Second World War.

Over the years, the stone of the memorial eroded and in 2010 some renovation work was carried out.

Unfortunately, the stone used to repair the memorial proved to be even less durable and the inscription rapidly became unreadable and the surface treatment, meant to protect the original stone, caused it to erode further.

The parish council, with the War Memorial Trust, decided that a replacement was necessary. To do this, the memorial had to be removed and taken to the sculptor’s workshop in York.

The parish council is grateful to the War Memorial Trust, which has 75 per cent of the total cost of replacing the memorial. The rest has come from donations and support from various organisations such as the Bamburgh Castle Estate and the Bamburgh Heritage Trust.

Before the remembrance service on Sunday, many residents also attended a church service while refreshments were enjoyed afterwards in Bamburgh Pavilion.