War memorial should be a focal point

Date: Tuesday 4th April 2017

Sir, Talk about having the heart ripped out of the small town of Kirkby Stephen. First, the loss of bus services, now the possible removal of the war memorial from the market square.

It has been suggested that we hide evidence of our war dead away from view by moving the memorial to the nearby churchyard. The replacement is a pole that will still look hideous however well it is florally garnished.

This pole was erected instead of the traditional Christmas tree and apparently cannot be easily removed due to swelling. I would suggest a concerted effort is made to remove it at an appropriate time, i.e. when the swelling does go down.

Churchyards are for private remembrance and war memorials are for public (and private) remembrance.

For the many communities unfortunate (yet proud) enough to have made sacrifices during various conflicts, a war memorial should be a focal point of pride and respect for visitors and locals alike and not an object that might occasionally be stumbled across in a churchyard. Yours etc,

MARY HODGSON

Kirkby Stephen.