WAR MEMORIALS RESTORED TO FORMER GLORY
Press Release by East Dunbartonshire Council – 28th Feb 2017
“War memorials in Kirkintilloch and Lennoxtown have been returned to their former glory, thanks to great partnership working between the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund (CMRF) and East Dunbartonshire Council.
The CMRF – which is administered by War Memorials Trust on behalf of Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Government – awarded nearly £90,000 of funding to the conservation and repair works with the Council contributing another £30,000.
Work began on the Kirkintilloch War Memorial – located at the entrance to Peel Park – back in July, while the Campsie War Memorial in Lennoxtown was next, with work being carried out throughout October.
To help inform a comprehensive programme of works, conservation surveys were commissioned by the Council and grant-supported by the CMRF. These assessed the current condition of the memorials and identified the works required. At Kirkintilloch War Memorial this included cleaning and treating the six bronze plaques, repairing and repainting the four ironwork gates and re-pointing the whole memorial with lime mortar while the Campsie War Memorial needed cleaning and re-pointing, as well as repair work to its ironwork gates and stonework.
One of the UK’s most experienced conservation specialists, Hall Conservation Ltd, carried out the specialist conservation and repair work and once on-site in Kirkintilloch they discovered that originally the memorial had gold leaf work which had gradually disappeared over the years. The gold leaf work has been reinstated so that the war memorial now closely resembles what it would have looked like when it was first unveiled in 1925.
Councillor Stewart MacDonald, Convenor of Neighbourhood Services, said, “This work has dramatically improved these two war memorials, ensuring they are fitting tributes to the residents of East Dunbartonshire who paid the ultimate price fighting for their country.
“These memorials provide people with a place to go and pay their respects. I could not be more impressed with the work which has been carried out and it is especially poignant it has happened during this time, as we mark the centenary of the First World War.”
As well as being conserved and repaired these historical structures now incorporate a very modern crime-fighting security system called SmartWater. All bronze work on both memorials is now coated with this new forensically traceable DNA liquid.
It is the second time war memorials in East Dunbartonshire have benefitted from the CMRF. In 2014, war memorials in Bearsden and Milngavie were conserved and repaired thanks to a £16,550 grant.
Since the CMRF was launched in 2013, 99 Scottish war memorials have received grant offers to a total of £763,318. A pot of £1 million was made available for this initiative throughout the centenary, in order for communities to repair and conserve their own monuments.
Frances Moreton, Director of War Memorials Trust, said, “The centenary of World War I has so far seen communities across Scotland take advantage of this special funding, to ensure their war memorials are in the best possible condition to mark the sacrifices of so many. The memorials at Kirkintilloch and Lennoxtown are impressive monuments and are now in a good state of repair. CMRF grants are still available so we would encourage communities to get in contact now if they are considering undertaking a war memorial project.”
PRESS RELEASE ENDS
Thanks to East Dunbartonshire Council for the two press call photos with local councillors.