War Memorials Trust helps to bring the Mersey Iron Works memorial plaque back home to Ellesmere Port

5 October 2017

The Mersey Iron Works memorial plaque, thought to have been lost, has been in storage for a few years. Thanks to a grant from the War Memorials Trust, the plaque is being repaired by a metal conservation specialist and will be back on display in Ellesmere Port. 

The plaque will be installed as the centre piece of a new memorial garden. The garden, on the corner of Whitby Road and Cromwell Road is part of a programme of Ellesmere Port town centre improvements, and is expected to start in November. The garden will be open to the public all year.

The derelict property which stood where the garden will be constructed was beyond economic repair and needed to be demolished. The garden will also improve visibility for both drivers and pedestrians at this busy junction.  

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing said:  “The plaque will be installed at a key gateway into Ellesmere Port, forming an entrance to the new housing developments along Cromwell Road.

“I’d like to thank the local businesses and partners that have made the new memorial garden possible including the Royal British Legion who gave permission for the memorial plaque to be situated in the garden. The War Memorials Trust grant has helped towards the specialist repair and conservation of the bronze memorial plaque." Frances Moreton, Director, War Memorials Trust said: “War memorials are a tangible connection to our shared past creating a link between the fallen and today. It is vital we ensure all our war memorials are in the best possible condition for their age and the charity is delighted to support this project. The centenary of World War I is a wonderful opportunity for local communities across the country to protect and conserve their war memorials. If anyone knows of any other war memorials in need of help please contact us.”

The area between Cromwell Road and the railway line from Whitby Road to the canal was a heavy industrial area for most of the 20th century. The Wolverhampton Corrugated Iron Company (WCIC) was the first industry to locate there in 1903, moving from the Midlands. The WCIC was also known as Mersey Iron Works, and quickly became the largest employer in town. The WCIC installed a memorial plaque at their factory entrance along Cromwell Road. The plaque was dedicated in 1926 and present on site until the factory closed in 1997, after which the plaque was taken to other locations in town before ending up in storage. 

In consultation with the local branch of the Royal British Legion this project was born. The concept design for the garden was created by BCA Landscape from Liverpool. Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Landscape Architect has produced the detailed design for the garden that will be constructed by WE Parsons from Ellesmere Port. The memorial plaque is being repaired by Andy Mitchell Sculptures from Hereford. 

St Modwen properties has given permission for the garden to be constructed on their land, for which planning permission and a lease was needed. The owner of Glowquest has given permission for works to their listed property, for which listed building consent and a party wall agreement was needed. 

For further information on funding available to support war memorials email: grants@warmemorials.org.

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