Do a good job

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It was interesting to read in the Mail of how Hartlepool Borough Council (which complains loudly that it has no money and is being short-changed by central government year after year) has found the money to replace the statue of the Boar War soldier that was stolen from Ward Jackson Park.

It was actually stolen in two pieces.

First the rifle at the beginning of 1968 and the soldier (minus his boots) in March 1968.

While I am all in favour of memorials, and commemorate monuments to our armed forces, reminding us of the sacrifices they made for our safety and freedom, I somehow feel that replacing the statue of the Boer War soldier is an unnecessary expenditure.

The granite plinth, with plaques inscribed with the names of the men from West Hartlepool who fell at the numerous battles in South Africa between 1899 and 1902, still remains.

Yet, to the best of my knowledge since the theft of the statue 48 years ago, no wreaths have ever been laid at this plinth and no standards accompanied by veteran ex-service associations have ever paraded at this site.

If truth be told, this plinth dedicated to the memory of the men of West Hartlepool who died in battle in South Africa 114 years ago is a long-forgotten memorial that has been erased from the memories of the people of Hartlepool.

Most people in Hartlepool under the age of 55 probably don’t know the location of where the plinth stands.

Yet hundreds pass by it every day when visiting Ward Jackson Park.

However, now that the council has unanimously voted to replace the statue of the Boer War soldier, I implore them to please do a decent job of it, and not come up with something similar to what stands outside the Pot House in the ancient borough.

A 4ft vertically challenged something, that is more of a large black blob with a huge proboscis wearing an oversized cap than a statue of a famous fictional Hartlepool character.

Also I look forward to viewing the finished product and to take a picture of my wife stood beside it, to go together with the picture of her as a young lady stood beside the original statue.

However, knowing what the council promises is not always what the council ends up with.

Edward Powell,

Birchill Gardens,