Plans to turn Northumberland pub sign into war memorial rejected

Plans to use an old pub sign to help highlight Belford’s war memorial appear to have been dashed.

By Ian Smith
Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 2:54 pm
The former Belford Community Club.
The former Belford Community Club.

There had been plans to repurpose the former Belford Community Club sign into a picture of a soldier looking up towards clouds.

However, the idea has been rejected by Belford Parish Council which now owns the land on which it stands.

Parsh councillor Reg Carruthers said: “We thought it was unsuitable and there was no need to have one.

“We already have something (the war memorial) that reminds everyone about what’s happened with the plaques that are on it rather than having a ridiculous sign that is 20 foot up in the air on an old pub sign.”

Fellow parish councillor Kerry Noble added: “We’ve been trying to get rid of it for many years and it was agreed by the council at the last meeting that the only reason they were waiting was for proof of ownership. As soon as that is through, the new owners of the club will be asked to remove it at their expense.”

The decision has disappointed memorial garden volunteer Graham Storer, who made the case for the new sign to parish councillors last week.

“I think it’s a disgrace,” he said.

“Many people in the village have commented on that dirty old pub sign. It’s time the sign was taken down and something worthwhile put up.

“It would have been a fitting way to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and the names of the people on the war memorial.

“That sign has been up for 30-plus years. It now belongs to the parish, the people of Belford. Rather than do away with the thing, we could utilise it for something really good.”

Coun Guy Renner-Thompson, county councillor and parish council chairman, said: “That land now belongs to the parish council and it doesn’t want to go along with that idea.

“It’s in a conservation area and it’s not something that was felt to be appropriate. That is really the end of it. The pole will be taken away.”