Councils back plan for new sculptures at Hall Leys Park war memorial in Matlock

Matlock Town Council has backed plans to add new artwork to a long-standing war memorial in Hall Leys Park to provide a greater focal point for Remembrance Day events.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 10:24 am
Updated Monday, 4th October 2021, 10:24 am

At a meeting on Monday, September 20, councillors considered a report from Matlock Civic Association which detailed the project to install four metal silhouette figures of military and civilian service personnel around the standing stone at Park Head.

Association secretary Ken Parker said: “It has long been recognised that the memorial stone is rather inadequate in terms of size and impact.

“Many assume it is the main town war memorial - which does not give a very good impression of the scale of sacrifices that actually happened or the gratitude of society generally.”

An artist's impression of how the new figures and plaque could look.

He added: “The proposal to add artwork and a bronze plaque to the stone would make more of it and commemorate community effort during the two World Wars. It is a reminder of what we can achieve if we work together.

“It will also be unusual in being more than a memorial to the fallen. It will be a reminder for future generations of what can be achieved through mutual support.”

The stone was placed at Park Head in 1965 as commemorative ceremonies moved away from the official town memorial at Pic Tor. In 2004 a ring of poppies was added around the base to enhance it.

The civic association has worked on the design with the Royal British Legion and Fellowship of the Services. Highly reputed sculptors Andrew Edwards and Phil Brown will lead the final production.

How the memorial stone currently appears.

The total costs of the project are expected to reach around £12,000, which will be funded via a bequest from former town mayor David Barker. Once in place, Derbyshire Dales District Council has agreed to take ownership of the sculptures.

The civic association has sought financial contributions from other local organisations but the town council declined the invitation.

A spokesman said: “The town council welcomes the work of the civic association in considering the enhancement of the war memorial in Hall Leys Park and the generous legacy of David Barker enabling this to happen and we look forward to the unveiling during the Act of Remembrance on November 14.”

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