Stonemasons share update on restoration of Whaley Bridge Memorial Park cenotaph

Stonemasons working to restore the cenotaph from Whaley Bridge Memorial Park have released new photos showing progress on the project.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 11:47 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 11:04 am

High Peak Borough Council contracted Chesterfield stonemasons The Fringe Workshop (TFW) to carry out the work after the original memorial was damaged by a falling tree in September 2018, just weeks before the centenary of the First World War armistice .

Deputy council leader Damien Greenhalgh said: “I know people will be keen to know when these repairs will be finished as it’s been some time since the cenotaph was damaged but, as with so many other aspects of our lives, Covid has posed some delays and challenges.

“The cenotaph is one of the defining features of this much-loved park – which was, of course, created to commemorate the loss of 108 men from Whaley Bridge in the First World War – so this work to repair it is so important.”

From left, TFW boss Andy Oldfield, apprentice Carrie Oldfield, master craftsman Paul Froggatt

TFW specialises in blending skills handed down through generations with modern day technology, and that is reflected in the team engaged in the work.

Andy Oldfield and Paul Froggatt, two master craftsmen who trained at the National Trust’s Hardwick Hall, are labouring alongside apprentice Carrie Oldfield, who is training in historical building conservation and specialising in traditional lime plaster repairs.

Coun Greenhalgh said: “They have the perfect blend of skills for work of this nature as I think everyone will agree when they are able to see the results for themselves in the Memorial Park.

“The good news is that the team is making great progress. These photos speak for themselves and we’re delighted with the excellent quality of their work and the genuine love and care they are applying to this project.”

Carrie hard at work hand finishing a section of the moulded base for the cross.

Ruth George, county councillor for the town, said: “The new cross is shaping up beautifully. It’s been a while coming, but it looks like it’ll be worth the wait.”

All being well, TFW should be installing the new memorial within a few weeks.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together.” – Louise Cooper, editor.

The detailed stone work progressing through several stages.