Memorial group to step up campaign

Martin Sharp
Martin Sharp

CAMPAIGNERS behind a new group aimed at keeping a war memorial clean and tidy have organised a further meeting.

 Hartlepool man Martin Sharp is behind the Friends of Victory Square group as he wants people to show the memorial – which is a permanent reminder of the town’s men and women who died in wartime – the respect it deserves.

 The aim of the group will be to keep the area clean from litter and to work with Hartlepool Borough Council to report incidents of graffiti and anti-social behaviour at the listed structure.

 The 52-year-old has concerns about people dropping litter, drinking, playing football and skateboarding on the memorial, off Victoria Road, in the centre of Hartlepool.

One meeting involving councillors, residents, council officers and representatives from the Royal Air Force Association has already been held.

A second meeting to discuss the way forward and future events will now be held on Thursday, June 30, at 2pm at the Hartlepool Peoples Centre, in Raby Road.

Organisers say there was unanimous agreement at the last meeting that a group be formed to help look after the square and surrounding area.

There was also strong support for an educational side to the group – to inform those using the square of the history and significance of the site with the aim of improving behaviour.

The plinths that surround the memorial have the names of the 1,800 men and women from Hartlepool who died in the Second World War, subsequent conflicts and some from the First World War that weren’t originally listed.

It is against the law to skateboard in Victory Square, to play ball games or to drink alcohol. The maximum penalty for breaking the by-laws is a £500 fine.

For more information call the Hartlepool Voluntary Development Agency (HVDA), which is supporting the group, on (01429) 262641.