Hartlepool Boer War statue campaign half way to £25,000 target thanks to latest fundraisers

A project to replace a statue honouring Hartlepool’s Boer War heroes is half way to reaching its £25,000 target thanks to two sizeable new donations.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 11:15 am

Town businessman and history enthusiast Stephen Close is spearheading the project for a new statue designed by Ray Lonsdale in Ward Jackson Park.

Stephen recently auctioned off a framed original 1906 Healthful Hartlepool tourism poster which raised £800 for the cause.

And he was gobsmacked when an 85-year-old retired soldier handed him a cheque for £1,000.

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Former Hartlepool Mail employee Steve Dawson won the auction for the framed 1906 Hartlepool poster by bidding £800.
Former Hartlepool Mail employee Steve Dawson won the auction for the framed 1906 Hartlepool poster by bidding £800.

Together with previous public donations given in recent years, the project is now half way to its total and gathering pace.

The Healthful Hartlepool poster was won by former Hartlepool Mail employee Steve Dawson, who now lives in Hertfordshire.

He said: “I was more than happy to bid whatever required to secure the 115-year-old framed poster.

“I come home every few months to visit family and am honoured to support such a worthy cause by honouring our war dead; an amazing project.”

The approved design by artist Ray Lonsdale of the replacement Boer War statue for Ward Jackson Park.

Just days later Stephen was presented with the cheque for £1,000 from the former soldier who wishes to remain anonymous.

Stephen, proprietor of Just Blinds in York Road, said: “He wants it to happen before he passes and that the ‘smaller wars’ are just as important as Word War One and World War Two.

“I was gobsmacked and told him I would finish the project as quickly as possible.”

It means there is now £12,000 to raise with work on the new statue due to start in less than a year.

Stephen Close with the £1,000 cheque he received supporting the appeal.

It has been designed by North East artist Ray Lonsdale of Seaham’s Tommy statue fame.

Hartlepool’s original Boer War statue was stolen in 1968, leaving just the granite plinth with the names of 23 town men killed in the Boer War.

Stephen is trying to raise the money for its replacement by public donations as the original was paid for by public subscription in 1906.

He added: “We have many more people taking a keen interest now that the campaign is on a roll.”

Any supporters interested in raising money for the project can contact Stephen by email at [email protected]

Donors can also contribute on a Go Fund Me Page at www.gofundme.com/the-replacement-boer-war-statue

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