Sheffield Council to restore plaque identifying threatened war memorial trees

Alan Story with the plaque in Western Road identifying the war memorial trees.
Alan Story with the plaque in Western Road identifying the war memorial trees.
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Sheffield Council has agreed to restore a plaque identifying a street of trees as war memorials - some of which it plans to cut down.

The authority revealed it was working with the War Memorials Trust to clean the stone plaque on the outer wall of Westways Primary School in Western Road, Crookes.

Damage to pavement caused by tree roots in Western Road.

Damage to pavement caused by tree roots in Western Road.

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

The council wants to cut down 23 of the 56 remaining trees as part of its Streets Ahead programme with Amey. The roots of several of the large trees are damaging the pavement.

The council's cabinet member for environment Bryan Lodge said:"We have spoken to the War Memorials Trust about the condition of the plaque on Western Road and are arranging for it to have a full clean.

"We will continue to work with the trust and other interested groups to develop a plan to make sure the memorial is maintained for the future and to preserve the memory of the Sheffield soldiers who gave their lives for their country.”

Trees under threat in Western Road.

Trees under threat in Western Road.

Read more:

'Urgent' campaign to save Sheffield war memorial trees

Residents formed the Western Road Remembers group last month with the aim of restoring the plaque in order to highlight the possible felling of the trees.

Alan Story, a retired academic, said the group was 'very pleased' the council had agreed to fund the cleaning. A rededication event should take place in the new year.

"“This is a very welcome start," he added. "Now the council and Amey need to take the next step: spare the 23 memorial trees that are soon slated for chainsawing.

“It would be rather hypocritical for the council to restore a 1919 plaque which states that these 'trees were planted in grateful appreciation' and then, a month or two later, to order that they be chainsawed by Amey.”

Separately, members of the Save Crookes, Western Road and Walkley Trees action group have set up the Western Road Memorial Avenue Community Group to help fund pruning works on the trees in an attempt to save them.

The group has also met with the War Memorials Trust. Spokesman Felicity Freeman said the trust had told residents a grant of up to £30,000 could be made available to help with the costs of pruning work on the trees.

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