Crucial repairs to Amble’s iconic war memorial clock tower will not be completed in time for this year’s Remembrance Day service.
The structure has suffered water damage, caused by five footballs and a tennis ball on the roof, which blocked the drainage system and flooded the roof.
The decision has been taken to stop the clock to prevent any further damage to its mechanism and the town council is gathering quotes for the much-needed work.
But the repairs will not be done immanently. A town council statement reads: ‘We are still gathering quotations for the extensive work required to repair the damage to the roof, the drainage system and the internal deterioration caused by the water and damp.
‘The specialist nature of the work on this listed monument means there are only a few firms who can do the work. Until all quotations for the different aspects of the work are to hand, we cannot go ahead with a grant application to help with the costs.
‘We stopped the clock to prevent any further damage to its mechanism. We had hoped to have the repairs done before Remembrance Day, but this will not be possible. We try to internally protect the structure from more damage over the inclement weather to come as we need to preserve and respect this monument.
‘We appreciate how much everyone misses the chimes and being able to see the time, but the situation will remain until the works are done.’
Meanwhile, the community is being asked to give its views on how Amble can commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War in 2017. The town has already staged commemorations over the last few years to honour the centenary of the Great War, including a procession, concert and exhibition. There are plans for a firework display in 2018.
Next year will honour the Battle of Passchendaele and some sort of commemorative event is wanted for the town at the end of July. Suggestions from the community on the nature of an event would be welcome. So far, a wartime meal has been put forward. Anyone with ideas, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01665 714695.