New home for forgotten World War One memorial

Rachael Metcalfe, Conservation Officer at Sunderland City Council will be working on the memorial and is pictured with (L-R) Cllr. John'Kelly, Galliford Try's Keith Wright, Cllr. Peter Walker, Riverside's Colin West and Sunderland Museum and Heritage Service's Keeper of History Martin Routledge.
Rachael Metcalfe, Conservation Officer at Sunderland City Council will be working on the memorial and is pictured with (L-R) Cllr. John'Kelly, Galliford Try's Keith Wright, Cllr. Peter Walker, Riverside's Colin West and Sunderland Museum and Heritage Service's Keeper of History Martin Routledge.
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A FORGOTTEN city war memorial has found a new home.

The memorial, which lists the names of colliery workers who lost their lives during the First World War, was unveiled in 1921 at the Washington Colliery Welfare Hall and Institute, in Spout Lane.

During this time of commemorating the First World War the memorial is a timely reminder of the impact the war had here at home.

Carved in oak, the piece remained in place until 2012 when the hall, by now the London Inn, closed and it was moved into storage.

The site is now being redeveloped by a partnership involving Riverside housing association, Sunderland City Council, the Homes and Communities Agency and Galliford Try Partnerships North, creating 79 rented apartments for people aged 55 and over with a care and support or housing need.

Now, Galliford Try has donated £1,000 to bring the memorial out of storage and put back on display at the F Pit Museum in Washington.

It will provide visitors with a reminder of the sacrifices that our forefathers made during the war.

Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly, said: “This project is a fantastic opportunity to bring something that has been hidden for many years back to the people of Washington.

“During this time of commemorating the First World War the memorial is a timely reminder of the impact the war had here at home.”

Keith Wright, contracts manager with Galliford Try Partnerships North, said: “As we construct new properties that will begin a new chapter for this area of Washington, it is important that the rich and varied history of the site be remembered.”

Work on the memorial, which is being carried out by members of the conservation team from Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, is expected to be complete by April.

It will entail steam cleaning and reassembling the marble base, cleaning and bringing out the original wood finish and repairing and replacing missing sections.

Martin Routledge, Keeper of History at the Sunderland Museums and Heritage Service, said: “It is fantastic to be able to bring a real piece of Washington history to the F Pit Museum.”