Burton Latimer war memorial is to be re-sited on the lawn in front of the Council Offices, a public meeting in the town decided by a show of hands last night. Now at the junction of Church Street and High Street, the memorial has to make way for alterations to the A6 trunk road.
An open invitation from Burton Latimer Urban Council’s chairman, Mr. George Ward, and members, brought about sixty residents to last night’s meeting in the town’s county junior school to discuss the memorial’s future.
Opening the meeting Mr. Ward said that the memorial was to “the people who fell in the wars for our benefit,” and added: “I want it where we can always respect it and see it.”
A former chairman of the council, Mr. R. J. Mackintosh, asked why the site originally mooted by the council near the redevelopment area of Bakehouse Lane had been turned down by the County Council. “Surely they had no control if we set it right back off the main road?” he said. “It would be in the oldest part of the town and would be handy for both the Parish and Baptist churches.”
Mr. Ward said the county council had completely ruled out any site near Church Street and Bakehouse Lane for reasons of road safety.
The second site to be mentioned was in the area eventually selected, though ex-Serviceman Mr. F. Wells first suggested the part of the grounds furthest from the road. “Perhaps we could have a field of remembrance there, with a few seats for the old people to rest on,” he said.
But another ex-Serviceman, Mr. A. H. Caffrey, and Mr. R. L. Harpur, whose father donated the present site, wondered whether the redevelopment at the junction of Church Street, and High Street could include the war memorial even if it was on a new site there. Mr Ward replied: “We must find a permanent site now it would be too expensive to move it twice.” The county council had estimated that re-siting the memorial would cost about £400.
A third site suggested was the Rest Corner Garden created for the older people of the town. But Miss. A. M. Clayton objected “on behalf of ten elderly ladies who meet in the Rest Garden shelter.” They felt the memorial might be damaged there. A resident whose house overlooks the garden added : “It is Bedlam Corner, not Rest Corner, there sometimes.”
The meeting decided that the council yard was the best place, and a further vote was then taken to choose the exact site. Three were suggested, and a photograph prepared by Mr. O. J. Benford, showing the memorial superimposed on the lawn, won the day.
The other positions were in the far corner and at the High Street entrance.