Angry campaigners fight to save Durham’s DLI museum

The DLI Museum
The DLI Museum
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Angry supporters have launched a campaign to save an iconic museum in County Durham.

Plans by Durham County Council to close the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) Museum in the city have left people outraged.

John Stephenson.

John Stephenson.

Among them is Horden resident, John Stephenson, who has launched a campaign via a Facebook page to stop the closure.

The 47-year-old former police officer, said: “It is absolutely disgusting they could do this. It is all about money, that is a prime building site.

“People have scattered ashes of former servicemen and women there, and there are also memorial benches. It is just disgraceful.”

John, a dad-of-three, said just a couple of hours after setting up the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/savethedli, he had more than 80 people joining.

He said: “If we can get enough support and some financial backing we will take legal action to stop the closure.”

Michael McArdle, 57, from Houghton, said: “I have been going to the museum for years and I have met people from all over the world there, who have come to pay their respects to those who have served.

“It means too much to the people of the North East for them to just decide, without consultation, to close it. It is just wrong.

“This museum stands not only as a mark of respect to the people who fought and died fighting for the freedom we all enjoy today, but also as a monument to ensure we never forget the tragedy of war.

“The people responsible for the decision to close it should hang their heads in shame.”

A report to Durham County Council’s Cabinet says the storage of the DLI collection is both expensive and inefficient and the building is expensive to maintain.

The proposal is to store the collection at the Sevenhills building and put on temporary exhibitions at other sites, such as Palace Green Library. The museum’s education programme would be maintained at Sevenhills.