War of words on Facebook over Cleadon’s poppy memorial

Over grown and messy war memorial at Cleadon Village. Coun Jeff Milburn.
Over grown and messy war memorial at Cleadon Village. Coun Jeff Milburn.
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Poppies have become a thorny issue for a feuding group of councillors in a South Tyneside village.

Tory councillor Jeff Milburn believes the war memorial in Front Street, Cleadon Village, is a mess and covered with weeds.

Councillors Margaret Meling and Joan Atkinson.

Councillors Margaret Meling and Joan Atkinson.

However, his fellow ward councillors for Cleadon and East Boldon Joan Atkinson and Margaret Meling, who represent Labour, say it’s not mess surrounding the statue - but poppies, which have been specifically planted there.

But the war of words has sparked plenty of debate on our Facebook page, with the majority of people believing the poppies look nice.

Wynn Walton said: “Stunning. So inspirational. I recently visited Cleadon Village and when I saw the poppies my thoughts were ‘someone has been so clever planting poppies at the War memorial’, why hadn’t anyone thought of it before now?’. Loved it and didn’t realise at the time it was an issue. It’s so appropriate, love it, keep it please.”

Louise Thorpe wrote: “I used to live in Cleadon and when I drove through this weekend, I was thinking it was lovely to see the poppies again. So natural and wild looking but fitting. Like everything else, if the council plants these, they should be maintained!” Teri Linsley added: “Poppies are in remembrance of our dead soldiers, with this 
in mind it is a wonderful sight to see them around a memorial.  

“They don’t last long enough, so take pleasure in them while you can, the area can be cut back and tidied once the poppies have died back.”

Denise Lovell said: “The poppies look lovely, there’s a huge difference between planting appropriate wildflowers and just letting the area be neglected.”

Ann Trollope said: “War is messy – a fitting display in every way.”

However, Nikki Ratcliffe believes that cracked pavements nearby should have been the focus of the council’s money - not the flowers.

She typed: “Maybe they are nice but yet money could be spent on improving the very badly cracked pavements in Laburnum Grove. One side of the street is really bad now every crack in every pavement.

“There’s elderly people who live in that street and its very unsafe for them to walk on these pavements.”