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“I think it is disgusting.” - Questions asked over state of Norwich War Memorial

PUBLISHED: 06:31 13 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:11 13 June 2018

Len Mann by the War Memorial in Norwich. Mr Mann is calling for the council to clean and maintain the memorial.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018

Len Mann by the War Memorial in Norwich. Mr Mann is calling for the council to clean and maintain the memorial. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Archant 2017

“I am 93 years old and a Normandy veteran and when I see it, I think it is disgusting.”

These are the words of war hero Len Mann when describing Norwich’s main memorial to those who gave their lives defending their country.

The Norwich War Memorial, which has stood opposite City Hall since 1938, has seen better days, having been worn to the elements and left untended.

Now, questions have been asked over its upkeep, with Norwich City Council facing a race against time to have it spick and span in time for the centenary of the First World War’s end.

At the beginning of May, the council granted itself planning permission to carry out a deep clean of the Grade II listed memorial. However, more than a month later this is yet to be done.

Len Mann by the War Memorial in Norwich. Mr Mann is calling for the council to clean and maintain the memorial.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018Len Mann by the War Memorial in Norwich. Mr Mann is calling for the council to clean and maintain the memorial. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Mr Mann, chairman of the Norwich and Norfolk District Branch of the Normandy Veterans’ Association, said it was very important the memorial was treated with respect.

He said: “Every year, we take the time to go to Normandy to visit the graves of our friends who did not come back, so it can’t be too much trouble to keep the memorial well kept.

“You visit Europe and the graves are absolutely immaculate, so why can’t this be?”

Deryck Self, whose father Raymond campaigned to have the memorial turned around to face City Hall before his death in 2013, also said the memorial needed its clean-up sooner rather than later.

Len Mann by the War Memorial in Norwich. Mr Mann is calling for the council to clean and maintain the memorial.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018Len Mann by the War Memorial in Norwich. Mr Mann is calling for the council to clean and maintain the memorial. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

He said: “If my father was still with us and could see the memorial shining and spick and span, he would have a tear in his eye.

“He was pleased as punch when it was turned around so he would hate to think it had been let go.”

A spokesman for the city council said the deep clean would be come at a cost of £2,255 and that the council was “working closely with the contractor to get this completed this summer”.

They said the memorial is given a hand clean prior to all services, but its cleaning was restricted as no chemicals or tools that may damage the stone can be used on it.

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