The demolition and rebuild work of Auchentibber War Memorial continues at a pace, with an update provided here.
Construction work started on 20th August 2018 and is being carried out by Covanburn Contracts in partnership with Conservation Architect, Fiona Sinclair. The Memorial has been ‘fenced of’ and this will remain until the works are complete. Work was urgently needed due to damage from nearby traffic and previous inadequate repairs.
Works consist of a deconstruct and complete rebuild which should stabilise and secure the First World War Memorial for many years to come. A range of soft landscaping works is also scheduled to enhance the rebuild and to beautify the area that is attended by many people each November at remembrance.
Demolition work is well progressed. The marble has been removed along with careful removal of the plaque. Brickwork has been demolished to around shoulder height. The remainder of the monument will carefully be demolished before new footings and rebuild work commences. All work is programmed for completion by the end of October.
Secured Funding & Consultation
Historic Environment Scotland (formerly Historic Scotland), and the Scottish Government, funded the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund (CMRF) are managed on their behalf by War Memorials Trust. The scheme ran from April 2013 through to March 2018 allocating £1 million to support the repair and conservation of around 125 projects in Scotland.
Following a series of community meetings in High Blantyre in September and October 2016, South Lanarkshire Council Cemeteries department liaised with local Blantyre organisations and residents after it was announced that the Centenary War Memorials Restoration Fund had secured £100,000 funds to give to SLC for necessary repairs to 45 memorials throughout Lanarkshire. The meetings were also attended by Blantyre Councillor, Maureen Chalmers. With great support behind the project, we were pleased to learn in December 2016 that funds for Auchentibber was included.
The community sprang into action. At consultation phase, following a poll by Blantyre Telegraph in December 2016 (on behalf of SLC, Blantyre Community Council, Blantyre Project, local ministers and various other residential stakeholders), the people of Blantyre overwhelmingly voted for the World War I memorial to be renovated where it is, rather than completely rebuilt in the nearby Crematorium or elsewhere. The poll findings were supported by our additional report to the Council with residents comments and suggestions, with SLC welcoming the feedback and later subsequently acting upon it. Poll results for reference are here: https://www.facebook.com/blantyretelegraph/posts/1282429985111392
The work in-situ at that location, therefore directly reflects the wishes of Blantyre residents, that the memorial stays firmly in High Blantyre in its existing location and not rebuilt elsewhere.
The war memorial, which was unveiled in May 1923, was built by the people of Auchentibber to mark 14 of the Blantyre men who died during WW1 conflicts. The marble used was salvaged from the old Hamilton Palace. Remembrance day services are jointly held at this location at the same time as at the Cenotaph War Memorial in High Blantyre Cemetery. The Auchentibber War Memorial continues to form an important part of Blantyre heritage.
An official unveiling of the renovated memorial is planned ahead of the remembrance service. We are currently gathering support for this. Please stay tuned to our page for more.
How fitting that this work is being carried out now in 2018, marking 100 years since the end of the First World War. Here’s hoping the repairs greatly prolong the life of the memorial and that the memories of those brave Blantyre men who sacrificed their lives, will endure indefinitely.
Photos: A Rochead 17/9/18.