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Cobholm seeks memorial home

PUBLISHED: 17:28 12 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:56 16 September 2010

AFTER years of frustrated efforts, a group wanting to give Cobholm's war dead the memorial they deserve are hoping St Luke's Church will provide the answer.

AFTER years of frustrated efforts, a group wanting to give Cobholm's war dead the memorial they deserve are hoping St Luke's Church will provide the answer.

The appeal comes after efforts to improve the current plaque, which lies under the village sign by Mill Road, were dashed.

It also follows the long search for another memorial, previously based at a now-demolished Cobholm School decades ago, and fondly remembered by older generations.

The chairman of the local residents' association, Frank Esherwood, 77, has been central to the commemorative efforts following calls from those he represents.

He said: “To be honest, I almost felt like washing my hands of the thing because we've had a brick wall put in front of us so many times.”

But it is now hoped a new memorial, marking those killed from the first world war onwards, and possibly funded by a community grant, could be placed on the church's outer wall.

Mr Esherwood added: “It would be nice to have it there and we've heard good things so far from the committee for the church who are currently considering it, so we shall have to see.”

The opportunity follows a severe blow dealt three months ago when efforts to fence off the current memorial were blasted out of the water.

Despite having the fence rails, which were funded by a £5,000 grant from the borough council, campaigners hoping to beautify the spot were told they were not allowed to do so.

Rex Parkinson-Hare, county councillor for the area, explained: “We hoped to enlarge what was up there by appealing for names to include, and also to stop people walking across the site but it couldn't go ahead.”

Norfolk County Council had rejected the idea, based on rights of way and underlying pipes they feared might be affected, and the fencing went to another project nearby.

Now campaigners wait with bated breath to see if their plans will come into fruition. They are also still hoping for information on the previous memorial's whereabouts, as well as information regarding those to be added to any new memorial.

Mr Esherwood added: “We feel it's important that we recognise those who have died for giving their lives for us, up to today's events in Afghanistan, and many their agreement with this idea.”

Holly Notcutt, part of the borough council's Make it Happen project, praised the residents “positive” reaction to previous obstacles, adding “at the moment, people could be forgiven for walking past the current memorial but St Luke's would be more fitting.”

Those with information about the old memorial or the war dead from the area can contact Holly Notcutt on 01493 601202.

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