COUNCIL leader Cllr Russ Bowden visited the war memorial on Bridge Foot last Thursday as restoration work totalling £1.1 million nears completion.

The 10-month Cenotaph project is almost finished, with the official ‘rededication’ of the site set for November.

Cllr Bowden was joined by his deputy Cllr Cathy Mitchell and Cllr Graham Friend, the council’s Armed Forces champion.

The leader said the Cenotaph is one of Warrington’s ‘most important and treasured icons’ and expressed his delight with the work to ‘safeguard it for future generations’.

The scheme has been carried out by main contractor Balfour Beatty, through the Scape Civil Engineering and Infrastructure Framework, and is expected to be completed for this year’s Remembrance Day.

It has seen the riverbank stabilised with a new sheet piled wall, protecting the riverside location of the memorial and preventing the riverbank being eroded further.

The stone walls, columns and steps that lead up to the Cenotaph itself have been rebuilt by specialist stonemasons Mather & Ellis, with a new ramped access allowing people to avoid the steps to access the plaques and monument.

Floodlighting has also been added to light up the memorial at night.

Cllr Bowden said: “We knew we had a finite time window to get this ready ahead of the Remembrance Day service.

“There’s some really significant and important works, around the riverbank for example, and they needed to be done in order to secure the foundations of this site.

“Obviously, that gave us the opportunity to totally redesign accessibility for the Cenotaph and that’s really important as well to make it open and more accessible to the people of Warrington.”

Time capsules that were discovered inside the Cenotaph itself in July were removed and are now on display at Warrington Museum.

They have been replaced by three, new time capsules, filled by primary schools who have worked with Culture Warrington.

Cllr Bowden added: “I think it’s really important that part of the whole remembrance process is that we involve people throughout the community, particularly young people, to make them realise the importance of remembrance, recognising the sacrifice that some of our ancestors made.”

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian: