More than 1,500 support campaign to restore village war memorial

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31 Oct 2014
Newcastle's Labour MP Paul Farrelly handed over a petition signed by more than 1,500 people who are campaigning for the restoration of Chesterton’s war memorial.

Mr Farrelly was joined by ex-servicemen and volunteers when he presented the petition to Mike Stubbs, Leader of Newcastle Borough Council. It calls on the Council to help with carrying out repairs to the stonework.

The memorial contains the names of 172 veterans from the village who died in the two World Wars and the campaign to renovate it coincides with the centenary of the outbreak of the 1914 conflict.

Two years ago vandals daubed paint on the memorial, sadly, leaving some of the names inscribed on it illegible.

The campaign to restore it was launched in July when Mr Farrelly agreed to lend his support following a request from members of the local branch of the British Legion and its organiser, Bob Copeland.

In just three months campaigners have raised more than £1,000, including a cheque for that amount from local community group Elite. 

With the promise of more donations ahead, they are confident they will collect most of the £2,400 which stonemasons say will be needed to cover the repairs.

Mr Farrelly said there had been a “fantastic” response to the appeal, showing the importance that local residents placed in preserving the memorial as a reminder to future generations of the sacrifices that were made by local veterans. 

”Local people feel rightly proud of the memorial and I was delighted to play my part in helping Bob and the local British Legion. The petition shows the strength of feeling in the village and I’m really pleased the Borough Council is now helping organise the restoration work,” he added. 

Our picture shows, from the left, Bob Copeland, of the British Legion Chesterton branch, Mike Stubbs, Leader of Newcastle Borough Council, Paul Farrelly, Lilian Barker, MBE, Chair of the Chesterton One-Stop Shop and Valerie Rowley, of Elite – the Chesterton company which donated £1000 to the campaign.