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Iconic Blackburn monuments set to be restored to their best
TWO of Blackburn’s most recognised monuments are to be restored to their former glory.
The war memorial in the cathedral grounds is to be repaired and relocated as part of the centenary commemorations for the 1914-1918 conflict.
And the neighbouring Queen Victoria statue, created by Australian sculptor Sir Bertram McKennal out of white Sicilian marble, which stands on a grey granite plinth, will also undergo repairs on its hands after a number of fingers were damaged.
Many of the names on the stonework of the war memorial have been eroded by the weather since it was originally put in St Michael and All Angels’ Church, in Bastwell.
When that place of worship was demolished in the 1980s, it was moved to its current position behind the statue of Queen Victoria, in the cathedral grounds.
Now Blackburn with Darwen Council bosses are trying to find the original list of names of the town’s soldiers, sailors, and airmen, who lost their lives, and any others that were missed off.
They want to re-engrave the memorial with a complete list of Blackburn’s fallen before it is moved to its new, more prominent home, near to a path to the cathedral, its new clergy court and cloister garden.
The memorial will be moved from its current site to ensure it does not get damaged during phase one of the £33m Cathedral Quarter Development, and repositioned when that work finishes in Autumn 2015.
Work on the Queen Victoria statue will be done on site.
Plans to move the statue are no longer going ahead.
Council regeneration boss Maureen Bateson said: “This will be an important addition to the town centre’s Cathedral Quarter development, and it will be a timely reminder, and a great testament to the brave local people who lost their lives during the First World War.
“Some of the names on the memorial have, unfortunately, been eroded over the years, so we are very keen for anyone who has information about the names to come forward to help us pay a full, and proper tribute, to all the local people involved in the war.”
Borough leader, Coun Kate Hollern, said: “I am delighted that this memorial will be renovated and placed in a better position to be seen, and honoured, by the community.”
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