Photo gallery: Iconic Norwich monuments get cleaned-up ahead of First World War centenary
06:30 28 February 2014
Together they stand as a reminder of Norwich’s history.
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Cavell Nurses’ Trust is a registered charity that supports the UK’s 650,000 student, working and retired nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants who need financial help and support following illness, injury and other difficulties.
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And now the hands of time are being turned back for four of the city’s statues as they are carefully cleansed by an expert team.
The £30,000 work to the statues of Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington, the monument to Edith Cavell and the Boer War memorial is being carried out in preparation for the centenary of the First World War.
The responsibility of Norwich City Council, these memorials tell the stories of Norfolk characters and well-known moments in history.
Mike Stonard, cabinet member for environment, development and transport, said: “These war memorials are an important part of our city’s heritage and we have a duty to preserve them for generations to come.
“It is fitting that all the statues are looking their best in time for us to mark the centenary of the First World War.”
Set high above one end of Agricultural Hall Plain stands George Wade’s bronze-winged Peace of 1904, symbolising the coming of peace after the Boer War. It originally stood isolated without a road behind it.
In Tombland, just outside the grounds of Norwich Cathedral, stands the Monument to Edith Cavell of 1918 by Henry Pegram. It shows a soldier reaching up to present his wreath to the bronze bust of the Swardeston-born martyr, who trained as a nurse and worked for the Red Cross in Brussels. She was charged by the Germans with helping British soldiers to escape and executed.
The Duke of Wellington and Admiral Lord Nelson statues are housed within the cathedral grounds.
G. G. Adams’ bronze of the Duke of Wellington of 1854, which remained in the market opposite Davey Place until 1937, shows the general in the uniform he wore at Waterloo in 1815.
And Thomas Milnes’ Portland stone Admiral Lord Nelson was installed in front of the Guildhall in 1852, but was removed in 1856 to be opposite the Norwich School, where he had been briefly a pupil.
Work on these monuments started three weeks ago and each statue will have scaffolding around it while the project takes place.
They will be cleaned using steam cleaning methods and once pollution and verdigris has been removed, a final surface finish will be applied to protect them.
The council’s long term plan includes the protection and preservation of the monuments and its contractor, NPS Norwich, has appointed Fairhurst Ward Abbots on its behalf.
A spokesman for the city council said the work had been programmed for relatively early in the year to make sure it was completed in time for the First World War centenary events.
She added: “Norwich City Council conservation officers have been working with the contractors to discuss the work plan for each of the projects.
“The contractor, NPS Norwich and conservation officers are keeping in regular contact throughout the work to make sure the project is delivered to the highest possible standard.”
The refurbishment work is being funded by Norwich City Council.
Minor conservation work will also be carried out to the terracotta statue entitled the Spirit of the Army at Earlham Cemetery.
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