War Memorial & Park Entrances 2018

IMPROVEMENTS TO POOLE PARK WAR MEMORIAL AND HERITAGE FEATURES

In the six months from May-October 2018 the War Memorial and Park entrances were the subject of various improvement works, including:

  • Sensitive cleaning of stone, bricks and terracotta detailing on the War Memorial and all entrance pillars, followed by re-pointing of all joints to preserve the integrity of the structures for the future
  • Memorial gates stripped down and restored, with new cast iron features, re-painted and re-hung
  • Crazy paving replaced with new Purbeck stone slabs, including the removal of steps to improve accessibility
  • Coping stones replaced on the rose bed planter for a more traditional style
  • Soil replaced and new roses planted
  • A new ramped pedestrian access installed from Parkstone Road, allowing step-free access to the War Memorial
  • Shrub planting undertaken by the Poole Park Gardening Volunteers
  • Three new information panels tell the story of remembrance, memorial and conserving the space.

These projects have markedly improved the quality of the park landscape and have safeguarded heritage features for the future. In most cases the works represent the most significant intervention to conserve the oldest features of Poole Park in its history. The conservators will supply a best-practice guide for future upkeep and maintenance which the park’s team can then implement as part of their schedules.

The attention to detail and historical context of these works is very important. The Poole Park Conservation Plan (pdf, 9Mb) has informed choices on materials and methods of work to ensure they are sympathetic to the original design intent, whilst being robust and suitable for modern use. This helped us to receive planning permission for the project, not to mention the funds from the heritage Lottery Fund.

One example of this attention to detail was the sourcing of bricks for the plinth beneath the War Memorial cross. A handful of bricks had been identified as failing and needed replacement. The clay bricks are a very unusual size by modern standards and the search for replacements took us to one of the last remaining brick quarries in the country that produce hand-made bricks, Ibstock Brick in Swanage. The manager there supplied the closest mould they had and allowed us to hand make some replacements. After an air and kiln drying process the conservators were able to seamlessly slot them in.

On Saturday 10th November 2018 the War Memorial was officially re-opened by the Mayor of Poole, Cllr Sean Gabriel. The three hour event included the unveiling of new information panels around the memorials, a theatre arts piece delivered by Valise Noire Storytelling Theatre, background music from World War One and a reading of the names of those from Poole who fell during that conflict. Activities included the painting of pebbles with poppies which were placed around trees. 

Pictures and sounds from the re-opening ceremony 

Suppliers & Budgets

Restoration work undertaken by Hall Conservation Ltd. £75,000

Landscaping, artwork and fabrication of information panels by Borough of Poole. £32,000

Stone supplied by Suttle Stone Quarries

Bricks for the War Memorial plinth kindly donated by Ibstock Brick Swanage quarry and brickworks

Opening event visual art and performance by Valise Noire Storytelling Theatre

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