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Memorials in Danger
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David McNay
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 11423
Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul,

Is the current owner happy for you to take them for safekeeping? If so, then I would do that in the meantime and I'm sure the members of this forum can make enquiries to various places to find a suitable place for them to go.

I'm sure collectively we can find a home for these memorials.

David
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4991
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't for one moment think these will come my way, but I put the idea with the keyholder as a backstop so they don't end up in the skip. As for ownership - haven't we had the discussion before? Who does actually own these things? They are left with the church for safekeeping, but I don't think that means they own them. Interestingly the booklet for the final service at the church states '...........and has the honour of keeping safe 'laid up' Regimental Colours............'

I think this is a good one to 'go to bat' on - the laid-up colours should carry a little more weight than some plaques funded by individuals or small groups of people.

\Paul
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dhubthaigh
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
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Location: Blairgowrie, Perthshire

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find it astonishing that no-one has yet taken an interest in these items...or do I? I hope this is a story that ends well.
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
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Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand the keyholder has tried local churches, local museums and the KOSB museum all without success. I have written to UKNIWM, the war memorials trust and the Colonel in Chief - I will of course update the thread with any replies. Possible further actions include writing to the Church of Scotland to ask what their intentions are as the memorials are on property that they currently own and then perhaps something in the local press.

\Paul
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john burnett



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 790
Location: Fife

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This organisation may be able to assist.

http://www.srct.org.uk/index.html

I don't think they will buy the church but they may be able to offer advice.
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john burnett



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is another site that may be able to offer advice.
http://www.scottishchurchheritage.org.uk/index.php

I would write to CoS George St Edinburgh as you suggest. This cannot be the first time this situation has arose and I thought they would have a procedure they would go through.
I'm sure many of us have been in churches where there are memorials from other churches that have been closed. I have also seen them mounted on walls in cemeteries - would council do this as last resort?
Alert local Cllrs and Community Council and local Heritage Group if there is one.
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
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Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been told from a couple of sources that the Church of Scotland will not allow any new war memorials to be placed inside churches. The one plaque from this church which now has a safe place in private hands is for Capt J J Dykes whose grandson is a local councillor, if he cannot get the council to find a place for his own grandfather's memorial then that says it all. I am not ruling these things out, just trying to be realistic. Colours obviously cannot go outside and I'm afraid I would not give the brass and bronze memorials as long as 24 hours if they were outside.

As for SCRT, I suppose they might agree to the memorials being moved into one of their churches but they have none in this area and I would like to think the memorials can be kept local. I have written to them in the extremely optimistic hope that they might be able to buy the church and all memorials intact!!!

I have not heard of scottish church heritage but will check them out and write in a few days.

Keep coming with the ideas, even if they don't work for these memorials, they might work for others.

\Paul
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David McNay
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might be a long shot, but try Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society. They have premises in Dumfries, so they might be willing to take them into safe keeping. On the other hand, they might not be interested in the slightest.

Should we perhaps get the local papers involved? An appeal in the paper might get a local museum or archive involved.
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
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Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had thought of the FHS, their premises are quite small and they don't seem much interested in the war grave or war memorial forum. I thought that leaving the local papers for a few weeks would make a better story with who I had contacted and what the responses were. I will leave it a few days now to see what comes back from the letters I have written.

\Paul
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ADP



Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 467
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about the Archive Centre in Dumfries?

http://www.dumgal.gov.uk/dumgal/MiniWeb.aspx?id=86&menuid=950&openid=949

http://www.dumgal.gov.uk/dumgal/MiniWeb.aspx?id=86&menuid=921&openid=921

ADP
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Adam Brown
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7312
Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spoons wrote:
I have been told from a couple of sources that the Church of Scotland will not allow any new war memorials to be placed inside churches.


Apart from this particular case its going to get more and more serious over the next few years for memorials as congregations age and dwindle and more churches close. What happens to the old memorials then.

Back to this case. Ideally you'd want to keep them local. Would a local RBL branch take them?

Adam
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4991
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re Greyfriars church.........

The war memorials trust sent a reply which included the following..........

"the Trust does not unfortunately have the space to store unwanted war memorials and so cannot take these in ourselves. However, below are a number of suggestions for searching for new locations for the memorials which maybe of use.



Suggestions for finding new locations for war memorials:



Think about the size and nature of your memorial and what will be required to maintain it.
If applicable, contact the headquarters of your church/company to check if there are procedures in place for the preservation of memorials.
Contact other similar organisations within the same geographical area (e.g. other churches in the same village or closest village).
Contact local public buildings, such as libraries, museums, council-run buildings, the local town hall, community centres, etc.
Ask the local community for suitable suggestions via a local newspaper, newsletter, public notice board, etc.
Contact local schools to ask if they have space to accommodate the memorial.
Ask the local branch of the Royal British Legion or local ex-service clubs for suitable locations. You can find these in your local telephone directory.
Contact the Conservation Officer at the local authority for advice.


In the case of these particular war memorials, it may also be worthwhile contacting regimental museums to ascertain if they are able to offer a new home to the memorials which are relevant to their regiment."

All good general suggestions that would be fine if it was me that was the current guardian and looking for a new home. I will pass on the comments to the key-holder of the church.

\Paul
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
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Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More on Greyfriars Church memorials, this time from Scottish Redundant Churches Trust.

A very helpful letter and I am sure this thread will prove to be a useful reference as we lose more churches in the future.

"The Trust has been aware of uncertainty about the future of Greyfriars for some time now and the possibility of various bodies taking responsibility for the building. It is a matter of regret that the church is now being advertised on the open market for sale, which indicates that all the other rescue plans have come to nothing.



Unfortunately the size, type and location of the church all seem to recommend that sensitive reuse rather than purely preservation would best suit the building, and therefore means that the Trust is probably not the right organization to take ownership. Our approach is to maintain a church as a place of occasional worship without the introduction of a new function or use, and this can only be achieved where the building is relatively small in size and offers the potential to generate a low level of income to cover its upkeep. That being said, the Trust would be willing to examine options for the building if we were asked to do so by the Church of Scotland, but I suspect that in the first instance they will want to establish whether the building has a market value. Needless to say, we tend only to pay a token sum for our churches and offers over 125,000 is very much out of our league!



I share your concerns for the contents of the building and agree that it is important that if they cannot remain in situ, they should be appropriately rehoused. The question of where is more difficult and I note that other local churches and museums have been tried without success. I have no immediate suggestions, but plan to circulate your email to a number of my trustees and other colleagues in Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The only other option I can think of at this stage is for you to seek advice from the Church Monuments Society http://www.churchmonumentssociety.org/ . Although principally English-oriented, they may be able to offer help.



My apologies for not being able to provide a more positive response, but I hope I may have more to offer you given time.

\Paul

Many thanks again for getting in touch."
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john burnett



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 790
Location: Fife

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:55 pm    Post subject: memorials Reply with quote

I got this today from Church of Scotland, George Street. A Mr Ian Johnstone
Dear Mr Burnett,

My colleague has forwarded your email as I am dealing with the sale of this building. I was not hitherto aware of the memorials but I assume that these are built into the fabric of building and are therefore of the nature of fixtures.

The building is being sold as is, and it is not envisaged that there will be any reserved items. It is category A listed and the removal of such internal fixtures would require listed building consent whoever was wishing to remove the memorials. There is no clear indication at this point as to what the eventual use may be but it may well be compatible with the retention of the memorials in situ. Historic Scotland would no doubt have a view and it may well be the case that they would insist on retention.

However, if you have a particular interest in the matter from the point of view of providing an alternative home for the memorials perhaps you could let me know and I will endeavour to pass your details on the eventual purchasers. Currently there is no closing date for offers but I may need to be considering this before too long.

Ian K Johnstone

Church of Scotland Law Department

0131 240 2215"

Not having seen the memorials I am a bit at a loss on how to reply.
I am surprised they do not know the contents of the building they are selling.
Any advice gratefully received or if anyone wishes Ian Johnstone's email address I can give it to them.
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dhubthaigh
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is getting more incredible.
This is simplistic but why didn't the church remove the memorials and with agreement have them placed in a nearby or 'linked' one - easy.
I have heard that the church will not erect new memorials but these aren't new ones.
I know from quite a few locally that if a church is closed they remove, as far as possible, the important fittings (inc. plaques) and rehouse them.
Everyone happy. Its strange that a local church didnt want them or was that option really pursued?.
The stained glass windows appear to be slightly different in terms of cost and I understand that, most remain in situ but preserved.
The more folk that are asked the more they seem to come up with some great explanations. I know there is some issue with planning permission but It doesn't seem to follow any ruling. The council weren't bothered when they ploughed through the memorial gates in Rattray!
Hope some sense prevails.
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