Army veteran backs move of memorial

War Memorial near St Matthew's Church, Skegness.
War Memorial near St Matthew's Church, Skegness.

An army veteran is voicing support for a controversial proposal to move Skegness war memorial and has offered £1,000 towards the relocation cost.

Town councillors had suggested relocating the memorial to reduce the cost of a planned revamp, but the idea was branded ‘outrageous’ by the Royal British Legion.

The Compass Gardens on the foreshore and junction of Lumley Road and Lumley Avenue were put forward as alternative locations at this month’s town council meeting.

Now, ex-corporal Cliff Newton is backing calls for the memorial, on Lumley Avenue, to be placed in another setting.

A member of the Wainfleet branch of the Royal British Legion, Mr Newton served with the Royal Leicestershire Regiment, and founded Burgh le Marsh based Newton Newton flag and banner makers in 1975.

He said: “I believe the Skegness Town Council proposal is excellent and long overdue.

“Either of the two proposed sites would be suitable, though I prefer the centrepiece of the Lumley Road and Lumley Avenue junction.

“The war memorial would be more of a focal point where hundreds could gather round. There is noise from the traffic where it is now, but in a different setting it could be as familiar a landmark as the clock tower.”

“Being from a military family perhaps I have stronger views than most, but I would be prepared to make a £1,000 contribution towards the cost of relocating the war memorial if at least five other Skegness individuals will follow suit.”

A scheme to create a paved area around the memorial and new wall is estimated to total £99,000. A major part of the cost arises from using stone in keeping with neighbouring St Matthew’s Church, which is a listed building. Town council clerk Steve Larner said: “The proposal to move the memorial has not been investigated and it may not be possible or desirable.”