Pillars to return at key site

Ponteland Cenotaph
Ponteland Cenotaph

IMPROVEMENT works to Ponteland’s main war memorial to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War have been approved.

The town council agreed to allocate £2,474 and contractors will carry out a range of measures to enhance the area next to the monument.

The existing stone wall is badly damaged at either end as vehicles have hit it and moved the structure so in order to lower this risk the authority has decided to recreate the small pillars that were an original feature of the memorial.

Alterations to the arrangement of the steps and increasing their tread will also help to reduce the likelihood of vehicle impact and make it easier for flag parties to ascend.

Of the other works, Coun Robin Ramsay said: “The opportunity has been taken to carry out the re-pointing of the wall and the damaged coping will also be repaired as necessary.

“Tactile strips will be provided, which, as well as assisting those with visual impairment, will inhibit the skateboarders who from time to time use the paved area.

“In addition, an extra step will be provided for flag parties at the hall side of the memorial in order to enable them to ascend in a dignified manner to take up position around the monument.”

He added that there could potentially be further works as consideration is being given to installing a small cast-iron fence to the front and repairing or replacing the concrete edging to the area around the memorial.

Funds were raised after the Great War to commemorate the men from Ponteland who had died for their country.

An obelisk, called the Cenotaph, with their names inscribed was erected in 1920 and the Memorial Hall was opened in 1922.

A Remembrance Sunday service takes place at the Cenotaph every year to honour members of the Armed Forces who have died in the line of duty.