Sundial memorial sends a message to the future

Belsay School children dress up as early 20th century youngsters.
Belsay School children dress up as early 20th century youngsters.

A new First World War memorial is being built in Bolam.

The memorial design, in the grounds of the parish church, remembers those who sustained the population on the home front through their work on the land from 1914-18 – including the children who dug the land and tended the animals, in the absence of their fathers, brothers and uncles, away at the front.

It is being created using two 100-year-old shepherd’s hut iron wheels and a shepherd’s crook, which doubles up as the gnomon of a sundial, permanently telling the same time – 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month.

Three rough cement benches have been designed with the help of children from Belsay School, with a Morse code message to the children of the future, from the children of 2018, remembering the young of 1918.

Children have been learning about the war years from historian John Sadler and storyteller Jim Grant. Belsay School held a special day when pupils and staff dressed up in the clothing of the day.

Children, parents, teacher and church regulars have worked hard over the last two years to prepare the ground for the new war memorial, which will also commemorate the Second World War.

Anyone interested in helping or donating, to help keep memories alive can contact the Bolam PCC treasurer at Bolam Grange, NE61 3UA or email wansbeckchurch@gmail.com