Preferred Peterborough war memorial design chosen

How the preferred option for Peterborough's new war memorial could look.
How the preferred option for Peterborough's new war memorial could look.
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Have your say

The preferred design for Peterborough’s new war memorial has been unveiled.

Architect Peter Slinger’s design called “War Memorial” received the most support of the five options on the shortlist put out to public consultation at St John’s Church in May.

Just over a third or 38 per cent of the 662 people who attended the consultation event said that the pyramid-shaped design with a globe on top was the most appropriate for the city’s new memorial for Bridge Street.

Eighty-two of the forms filled in, about 12 per cent, rejected all five of the options being put forward.

Residents are now being invited to meet with members of the Peterborough War Memorial Steering Group to discuss the preferred design and help decide its final look at a public meeting which will be held at St John’s Church in the city centre on Monday at 7pm.

Cllr Irene Walsh, chairman of the steering group, said: “We will now be working with the architect to slightly amend the design taking into account comments made by members of the public.

“The memorial will take a prominent place in the city so it’s important that residents like the design and feel a sense of ownership.

“Therefore I would urge people to attended the meeting on Monday.”

However, the shortlist of designs and the chosen design has been subject to a negative public reaction from some quarters.

Speaking yesterday, Margaret Yallop (70), from Dogsthorpe, Peterborough, slammed the designs as “terrible”.

Her brother, Corporal Michael Boddy, from Peterborough, was killed at the age of 24 while he was serving in Northern Ireland in 1972.

He is commemorated by a memorial in Bishop’s Road Gardens, Peterborough.

She said if the design remains unchanged she would not go to the new memorial when it is built outside the Town Hall in time for Remembrance Day 2012.

She said: “They do not look like war memorials at all. They look like modern art.

“I think it’s a dreadful thing and I do not like it.

“On Remembrance Day I shall go to my brother’s memorial and go to the Cathedral if the cross is still round there. I certainly won’t go to the one at the Town Hall.

“I can pay my respects to the dead without going and standing in front of something like that.”

Peterborough City Council has been working with Peterborough Veterans’ Association and the Royal British Legion to develop the project and secure the funding for the new memorial.

It is expected to cost in the region of £45,000.

The steering group has said that it is hoped that the new memorial will be built and ready in time for Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday in November 2012.

Steering group member and a former air cadet, Robbie Wilson (18), from Orton Malborne, Peterborough has urged both fans and critics of the preferred memorial design to attend Monday’s meeting and have their say.

He said: “At the end of the day it’s going to be there a long time. If they have got something to say about it, we need to hear it.”

Donations can be made online to the ‘Peterborough War Memorial Fund’ appeal - www.justgiving.com/peterboroughwarmemorial

The architect on the design

AS PART of the exhibition, architect Peter Slinger gave a description on the design.

He said: “The symbolism of the memorial is traditional and simple but does not imply any particular religious points of view. The main body of the monument is in the form of a limestone pyramid which has become an established symbol of death and eternity.

“The pyramid is surmounted by a steel globe which represents the universality of suffering and the geographical extent of the conflicts in which Peterborough has lost its citizens.”