‘Bring back war memorial’

Crimean War Memorial
Crimean War Memorial

Calls were made this week for Sheffield to restore and re-erect a monument to victims of the Crimean War.

Paid for by public subscription, the 20 metre high structure stood for about 100 years at Moorhead in the city centre before being moved to the Botanical Gardens when the roads were changed.

The monument was split up and most went into storage when the gardens were restored to their original layout in the early 2000s.

Now the Royal British Legion and the War Memorials Trust are among groups joining the Victorian Society in pressing the council to secure the future of the grade II-listed monument.

Victorian Society director Christopher Costelloe, said: “I hope it is not too late for the council to mark Remembrance Day 2014 with a statement setting out plans to re-erect the monument in time for the 160th anniversary of the end of the Crimean War, in February 2016.”

Victoria Bayliss, who chairs the South Yorkshire group, said: “The people of Sheffield paid for it. We think they ought to have the chance to view it.”

There is sympathy with the council’s financial plight, but it is being urged to explore potential funding sources, including the Heritage Lottery Fund and War Memorials Trust.

No potential location is in mind for the monument, one of the Victorian Society’s top 10 most endangered buildings. A spot was once mooted in the plans for the Sevenstone shopping development. The top of Fargate is a personal suggestion of Ms Bayliss.

Council cabinet member Isobel Bowler said the monument was in safe storage, and there was once a proposal to relocate it to Barkers Pool, “but this was felt to be an inappropriate location”.

There would be a “significant cost” in reinstating the monument “at a time when council budgets are already under severe pressure to cover the city’s essential services”.

But Coun Bowler said the council would welcome a meeting with the Victorian Society to discuss ideas.

The monument, which was designed in 1858 by George Goldie, was a column surmounted by a seated figure of Victory with Russian cannons at the base.