Two Ashfield cenotaphs to be professionally cleaned for the centenary after community anger

Sutton's 'dirty' cenotaph.
Sutton's 'dirty' cenotaph.

Two cenotaphs in Sutton and Huthwaite are set to be cleaned before Remembrance Day, just days after Ashfield District Council announced it would not clean them over 'irreparable damage' fears.

Councillor Lee Anderson who represents Huthwaite came to your Chad last week after being told the cenotaphs would not be cleaned, which he call "shameful" at the time.

Keen to get them cleaned up before the centenary parades he started a petition and went to the council with quotes from a specialist cleaning company.

Now the council has revealed that the two cenotaphs will be cleaned next week.

Coun Anderson said: "This is a win - it just shows the power of the people.

"Fair play to the council. They listened and have made things happen."

A spokeswoman for Ashfield District Council said: "In considering the request made to clean memorials the council has taken further advice from Bonsers Building Restoration and Conservation and the Conservation Officer; based on that advice the council will undertake to clean the Huthwaite and Sutton monuments next week ahead of the centenary event. The cleaning method will seek to meet community aspirations but in such a ways as to ensure the monument is not damaged for future years.

Anger as Ashfield's cenotaphs will stay dirty for Remembrance Day

"Following advice from the Conservation Officer, our approved specialists (Bonsers Building Restoration and Conservation) and based on guidance from the War Memorials Trust, the council is proposing to take a long term conservation approach to the War Memorials and is looking to get them surveyed and conserved.

"War Memorials need to be treated with the utmost care and some cleaning methods can be harmful. Cleaning should be undertaken to reduce the impact of harmful pollutants and not to make them look like new. The age and weathering is part of their character and history. The Council cannot support more intensive methods such use of chemicals or jet washing.

"The Council is planning to work with the War Memorials Trust to undertake the surveys and necessary conservation work. The areas around the War Memorials are being cleaned and planted to ensure they look their best for the centenary and the Council has worked closely with lots of community groups to ensure we mark this historic occasion."

How the council has marked the Centenary celebrations this year by:

· Installing Lest We Forget signs at 11 gateway signs

· Supported a community led Poppy Downpour installation

· Installing poppy lights across the district

· Preparing poppy beds across the district

· Installing four Tommies as part of the There But Not There campaign

· Hosting an Armed Forces Day event

· Marking Merchant Navy Day in September