As shown by these ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos, Sandon and Burston Parish Council has given Sandon’s war memorial a thorough renovation ahead of next month’s centenary of the ending of World War One.
Designed by Albert Toft (who also sculpted Stone’s war memorial) and erected in 1921, the memorial’s original stone lettering was replaced, due to weathering, by bronze plaques in 1937. Since then, apart from a power washing in the 1980s, it had received no maintenance.
Last spring the Parish Council applied to the War Memorial Trust for a grant to restore the memorial, but due to the high volume of applications the Trust received this year, their bid was unsuccessful. Parish Council Chair Simon Shelley then undertook not only to research the costs and methods of cleaning and re-coating the memorial, but also to carry out the restoration work himself, Parish Council Clerk Brian Boughey explained.
“The approximately £2,000 costs of cleaning materials, re-coating materials and equipment were shared by the Parish Council and the proceeds of this year’s Sandon Fete. Over two months this summer, Mr Shelley cleaned the statue several times to remove the verdigris. He then applied layers of bronze paste before giving it a final wax coating. He pressure-washed, then lime washed the Portland stone plinth.”
“With thanks to the local community and Stone Scaffolding, funds have been raised to clean and bronze the memorial as a fitting tribute to the men of Sandon & District who gave their lives in The Great War,”
Mr Shelley told the Gazette.
Their efforts will be appreciated not just by the 200-300 people expected to attend Sandon’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony next month, but by all who pass by on the A51.