SHORTLY a decision will have to be made concerning the relocation of the war memorial portico from the Cottage Hospital when facilities are moved to St Luke’s.
The NHS is committed to providing funding for dealing with the memorial as part of the whole new build project.
Leaving the memorial where it is when the site will be sold off – even if the memorial has a covenant placed upon it, is not an acceptable option and is, we believe, agreed by all parties.
This leaves the option of removing it to St Luke’s or, in our view, the far better option of transferring it to the Memorial Gardens for the following reasons:
1 They are Memorial Gardens.
2 It is central to the town.
3 There is a potentially ideal site behind the blank wall at the back of the Building Society – even if it had to be reconstructed with a gap between the two buildings.
4 The height gives an opportunity to retain the lovely pediment even if it were replaced at a lower level immediately above the portico itself.
5 We feel that it would be far more in keeping on that site. St Luke’s being a new build, it could look incongruous up there.
Concern has been expressed that if it were transferred to the Memorial Gardens then maintenance costs would fall on the district council, whereas at St Luke’s it would be for the NHS to maintain.
We feel strongly that this is a Harborough memorial to Harborough men and no-one would begrudge the minimal regular maintenance costs. Also that with the centenary of The Great War upon it in 2014, an appeal could be launched to cover future maintenance.
In the future if some major repairs are required, then grant funding from the War Memorials Trust can be applied for.
Denis Kenyon and on behalf of Chris Stephens,