War memorial for old Scoresby site?

A NEW outdoor war memorial is set to be put in the place of the Scoresby statue which blew down in the recent storms.

Whitby Town Council, led by Coun Sean Rixham-Smith, has been looking into the possibility of installing the tribute at Dock End so the area can be used in the future for services.

It will also form part of the armed forces day celebrations which are set to become an annual event after the success of last year.

Although plans are in the early stages it is thought the memorial will be between six and eight feet tall, be made of black granite and weigh about two tonnes.

There will be four sides to it and on the face of each side an inscription will be carved into the stone by a firm in Grosmont.

The proposal was put to members of the town council’s town improvement committee who gave their backing and the issue will now be presented to full council at a later date.

At the meeting on Monday night, Coun Rixham-Smith said: “Unfortunately, mother nature, as she is, brought down the Scoresby statue and we would look to put something in its place.

“It won’t take up anymore space than the Scoresby statue did in the first place.

“With a little bit of help we can get the stone to Grosmont, put it in the hands of a stone mason. Each face will be dressed and polished and we are looking at putting four inscriptions in.

“If we start using plaques and things like that they will get stolen, that is why they will be carved.

“There is no area put aside in the town for an outside war memorial but it is an opportunity we have in front of us to do something that I think would be great for the town.”

Coun Terry Jennison questioned whether the ground at Dock End would be able to withstand the weight of the memorial and Coun Joyce Stangoe said she thought it was a brilliant idea but should perhaps be in a more reflective location.

Coun Rixham-Smith added Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) and the Harbour Board were supportive of the plans and there had been no comeback from an engineering point of view.

Town clerk Pam Dobson said: “We are thinking about somewhere we can hold a remembrance service.

“At this stage, what we need to do is get a reaction from this committee and get the full council approval to go ahead and we can open negotiations publicly.”

The statue came down on the night of Tuesday 3 April as wild storms battered Whitby and brought down power lines.

The base of the Scoresby statue was snapped clean out of the ground and was found to be rotten. At the time borough Coun Joe Plant said it was very unlikely it would be put back up.

SBC Head of Tourism and Culture, Brian Bennett, said: “The borough council was responsible for the sculpture. It reached the end of its serviceable life and was severely damaged during high winds.

“The remains of the sculpture have been placed in storage pending a decision on what to do next. Discussions are continuing between officers and members.”