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Project to restore Cromer’s war memorial finally gets under way, after four years of fundraising

Work has started on a project to restore Cromer war memorial. Alex Rickett removing the figures from the memorial, ahead of their re-carving. Pictures: David Bale

Work has started on a project to restore Cromer war memorial. Alex Rickett removing the figures from the memorial, ahead of their re-carving. Pictures: David Bale

Archant

A long-cherished project to restore Cromer’s decaying war memorial is finally under way, after four years of fundraising.

Work has started on a project to restore Cromer war memorial. Alex Rickett removing the figures from the memorial, ahead of their re-carving, with town councillor David Pritchard looking on. Pictures: David BaleWork has started on a project to restore Cromer war memorial. Alex Rickett removing the figures from the memorial, ahead of their re-carving, with town councillor David Pritchard looking on. Pictures: David Bale

The monument in the town centre churchyard, built in 1921 and topped by a statue of St George, has become eroded and weather-beaten and requires work to restore it to its former glory.

Cromer town councillor David Pritchard started a fundraising campaign to restore the memorial four years ago, when he was mayor.

He announced at Cromer Remembrance Service on Sunday that the £42,000 target had been reached. About £26,000 was collected through fundraising with the balance being made up by the town council.

And workmen were on site on Tuesday, November 14 to remove the four figures and the St George and Dragon statue from the monument.

Work has started on a project to restore Cromer war memorial. Alex Rickett removing the figures from the memorial, ahead of their re-carving. Pictures: David BaleWork has started on a project to restore Cromer war memorial. Alex Rickett removing the figures from the memorial, ahead of their re-carving. Pictures: David Bale

They will be taken to a workshop in north Norfolk where they will be re-carved over the winter months.

Mr Pritchard said: “I cannot believe it’s really happening. It’s been so long since we started the campaign, and now they’re on site.”

He said the contract to repair the memorial was won by Cliveden Conservation, which was chosen because of its outstanding previous work on war memorial restorations.

The four figures around the memorial are of a soldier, sailor, aircraftsman and nurse, and are made of soft stone.

The project also involves adding the names of those servicemen and women that died after the First World War to the memorial.

Cliveden’s senior conservator Fiona Johnson said: “The figures are being removed and taken to our workshop at Houghton Hall for re-carving over the winter months. The images will be the same but we have researched the appropriate uniforms. The sea air has affected the memorial and speeded up erosion. Some of the figures had been repaired before, about 16 years ago. The pavement around the monument will also be cleaned and there will be new engravings.”

The work will be finished by next summer with the official unveiling and re-dedication of the war memorial taking place on Remembrance Sunday 2018.

Is your relative’s name being added to the restored war memorial? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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