This is for information regarding the Ulgham Village war memorial
In 2015 Ulgham Parish Council assumed responsibility for the upkeep of the village War Memorial situated in the churchyard of St John the Baptist church in Ulgham.. This memorial , in place since 1924 , has had little work done over many years to ensure its continued wellbeing into the future. The fabric of the memorial is in poor condition with the concrete base rotten and in part , disintegrating. The granite shaft of the cross containing the names of the fallen is in reasonable condition but the lettering requires cleaning properly., However the shaft is no longer vertical and this was the catalyst to decide on restoration. It was decided therefore to go ahead with a full restoration of our War Memorial.
As part of the restoration it was suggested that the shaft bearing the names is turned through 180 degrees to face into the churchyard. This would enable those taking part in the service to see the names on the memorial. It is believed that the reasoning behind the cross facing out into the road was that in the early years after WW1 , traffic , which would have been minimal , would have been stopped whilst the devotions took place outside the wall in the road itself. This is patently impossible in this day and age particularly on a busy coastal access road which is also a bus route.
With the constraints of Health and Safety in 2017 it was felt that turning the memorial through 180 derees was a fundamental part of the restoration process to allow the service to be conducted wholly within the safety of the churchyard.
A small team from the UVA , Parish Council and PCC was appointed in January 2017 to take this matter forward on behalf of the residents. The project has taken considerable time in its gestation but the situation has been reached now where Planning permission has been obtained from NCC on this Grade ll listed monument , the Faculty has been received from the Diocese both prties approving the work which is proposed. Quotes have been received from four contractors to carry out the work but one stands out for his enthusiasm expertise and excellence of the work carried out on other monuments in Norhumberland . In addition a full structural survey was carried out on behalf of the War Memorials Trust in London by an independant Conservation and Structural Enginneer appointed by WMT for the purpse of reinforcing a Grant Aid application. This survey agreed with the projects suggestions .
Funding for the project was requested from WMT for at least 80% of the cost , expected to be in the region of £8500 , but for reasons of their own we have been told that should we wish to proceed with the project as agreed with all the participants , no funding can be expected from that source.
We are therefore following up other leads to find the finance for this very worthy cause. A recent initiative through NCC is being explored and when Community Benefits money becomes available from Windfarm operations in the local area a bid will be made there. It is also hoped that individual offers of financial help may be forthcoming as the project goes forward .
Finally although the cost of this restoration may seem high , spread over the last 94 years and carrying the restoration into the next 90 years it is minimal recompense for the sacrifice made by those who gave their lives in the Great War.and who are still remembered on a national basis on the 11th November each year.
Any further information required on this project should be addressed to Councillor George Brown of Ulgham Parish Council on Morpeth 790465.