I have noted whilst travelling through various countries, that the smallest of towns and villages often have a war memorial which is always well tended.
Without fail they are placed in locations where people can pass some moments in quiet reflection.
These include war memorials situated in the centre of some of the world’s busiest cities.
So, I was very pleased to hear that Whitby was to have its own memorial erected. However, I was totally bewildered by its proposed siting.
I strongly felt that a location opposite to public conveniences, in the midst of street performers, where visitors sit and eat fish and chips, where folk turn out of public houses and clubs during the day and night, with all the social activities that can bring, was most inappropriate.
I wrote to the town council at the time expressing my concerns, but was informed that the dock end location was chosen as it is ‘easy access for an ageing population and visitors alike who want to pay their respects’.
Oh if only that were true for all people.
I have been shocked and deeply saddened to see people sitting on the steps of the memorial in the midst of the wreaths, eating fish and chips, laying back and resting their feet on it as well as letting their children play along the steps.
The last time I passed it was covered in seagull droppings.
Where I wonder is the dignity and respect in all of this?
Clearly some people have no sense of decency, respect or understanding of what is appropriate behaviour.
We have an ideal site in beautiful Pannett Park which would have afforded a place of peace and dignity that this memorial warrants.
Alternatively perhaps a metal chain link rope could be strung between the four pollards that already stand as a means of discouraging inappropriate use.
Maureen Stevenson, Caedmon Avenue, Whitby