Joy as historic Brierley Hill war memorial wall to be repaired

Stourbridge News: L-r - Cllr Rachel Harris, Rosemary Tomkinson, Cllr Zafar Islam. Buy photo: 361325M Buy this photo » L-r - Cllr Rachel Harris, Rosemary Tomkinson, Cllr Zafar Islam. Buy photo: 361325M

CAMPAIGNERS are “jumping for joy” at news a landmark 100-year-old wall fronting onto Brierley Hill’s war memorial will be be repaired thanks to a £200k restoration project.

There have been calls for action to repair the crumbling wall for more than five years.

It had been thought it would cost £1.5million to carry out the work - but Dudley Council has found an alternative cheaper solution.

Councillor Rachel Harris and former Mayor of Dudley Rosemary Tomkinson, who had been campaiging on behalf of residents, churchgoers and old soldiers, welcomed the move which is hoped will pave the way for a much-needed revamp of the memorial gardens surrounding the cenotaph.

Work had been prevented due to safety concerns.

Cllr Harris said: “I’m really pleased and very relieved - it’s been such a big issue for local people who have amongst other things been concerned about whether it was going to topple over.

“It is also the gateway into the town and was once a proud memorial.”

Mrs Tomkinson, chairman of the friends of nearby Marsh Park, said: “I’m over the moon. I was jumping for joy when I heard the news.

“We have been asking for this for such a long time. It’s the entrance to Brierley Hill and it’s an eyesore at the moment.

“Because of the danger of the wall collapsing no-one has been able to tidy the memorial gardens which has distressed a lot of people.”

Concrete barriers have been installed as a temporary safety measure, with the restoration, expected to take 26 weeks, set to start this week.

Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, Dudley’s cabinet member for transportation, said: “We will be repairing the stone panels which make up the wall, and re-using the existing stonework wherever possible so we keep the look and feel of this historic wall.

“I’m delighted work is going ahead to improve the look and safety of such an important local landmark.”

The road will remain open to two way traffic throughout the project, but bus stops will be moved to each end of the work.

Funding for the project has come from the council’s capital budget for the maintenance of bridges and other highway structures.

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