‘It’s in a very bad way’ – Sheffield war memorial still not repaired four years after council promised to fix it

A memorial plaque to the men of a Crookes primary school who died in the First World War has still not been repaired - despite Sheffield Council saying they would do so almost four years ago.

Monday, 23rd November 2020, 4:45 pm

Way back in 2016, former Sheffield Council cabinet member Brian Lodge promised that a memorial plaque which forms part of the outer wall of Westways Primary School on Western Road would be repaired in partnership with the War Memorial Trust.

However, while the road itself is currently in the process of being repaved, residents say the memorial seems to have been forgotten and was now in ‘a very bad way’.

Alan Story said they had originally collected around £300 to have the plaque repaired themselves by an expert stonemason, before Sheffield Council stepped in to say they would take care of it.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Crookes Western Road memorial. Reuben Fowles, Arthur Baker and Alan Storey campaigning for a memorial plaque to people from the area who died in WWI to be repaired by Sheffield Council.

He said: “Everything was going ahead fine but then the council wanted to control the whole situation. It was just politics.

“We had been to the school and it had been approved by the head and the governors – but the council went ballistic and said they would do the clean-up job.

“Now, four years later they are doing the road but they still haven’t come good on their promise to repair the plaque.”

The memorial explains the significance of the trees lining the street, 100 of which were planted in 1919 to commemorate former Westways Primary School pupils who died fighting in the First World War.

Crookes Western Road memorial. Campaign for a memorial plaque to people from the area who died in WWI to be repaired by Sheffield Council.

Sheffield Council and Amey wanted to cut down 23 of the remaining 56 trees but were stopped from doing so after a public outcry.

Councillor Mark Jones, cabinet member for environment, streetscene and climate change at Sheffield Council, said: “We understand that the Western Road memorial plaque is an important feature of remembrance for local people.

“Highways work is ongoing on Western Road and we will look to progress restoration of the plaque as this nears completion, working with the War Memorials Trust to make sure it is done sensitively.

“We will be in touch with local residents in the near future to provide an update and discuss the necessary arrangements.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.