Light restored to Colne's War Memorial and Titanic's Wallace Hartley Memorial

Colne’s War and Wallace Hartley Memorials are once more illuminated at night, thanks to the efforts of local councillors.

After the town’s former Library and Providence Methodist Church, The Gables, was sold for development in 2015, the lighting to the memorial was extinguished. This is because the lighting was powered from the former public lavatories next door to The Gables and this building was also sold to act as a cycle store to residents.

“Ironically, both Colne’s War and Wallace Hartley Memorials were Listed Grade II by Historic England the very same year they were no longer lit at night”, explained Conservative Coun. David Cockburn-Price, chairman of Colne and District Area Committee.

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Councillors had tried, over several years, to get the lighting reinstated, but Pendle Council declined to set aside the budget.

The newly-lit Colne War Memorial

Colne and District Area Committee asked for the project to be repriced and, owing to complex electricity supply issues, the total cost was almost £7,000. The committee, eight out of nine of whom are Conservatives, voted £4,000 from its central pot to be spent on the reillumination of the War Memorial and Wallace Hartley Memorial.

Coun. Kieran McGladdery said: “Our War Memorial is really special and, unlike most others you see, it is in the form of a Portland stone Doric colonnade. It was designed by T.H. Hartley and took a long time to erect, being used for the first time a dozen years after the First World War in November 1930.”

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Coun. Neil Butterworth, who, as a veteran, was prominent in calling for the refurbishment of the memorial in 2010, said: “This reillumination is great to finally see and is important to both veterans and residents alike. The interior of the memorial records all the WW1 names directly onto its walls, while the WW2 names are displayed on bronze plaques on either side of the Stone of Remembrance.”

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Colne War Memorial by night

The Gables was built in 1867 as the home of Nicholas England Jr, an influential businessman in the cotton trade, and the memorials were erected in its former front garden. The Gables became Colne’s library in 1907 and later a Methodist Chapel and is once more returned to residential use.