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Mains War Memorial, Dundee - vandalised and abandoned!
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David McNay
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
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Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick update - I've just spoken to someone from the BBC, so hopefully there will be an article on this.

Any other suggestions of who we can contact?
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4971
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Received a reply from the conservation officer at the War Memorials Trust. She will write to the council with details of the grant schemes and let me know of any response.

\Paul
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spoons



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

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone informed RBL or UKNIWM?

It's a free-standing memorial so Historic Scotland will have an interest, any grants from them are administered by the War Memorials Trust.

How about the Sunday Post? That is one Scottish Publication that seems to find its way to expat Scots the world over.

This is not listed by Historic Scotland or RCAHMS so no mileage there I think.

\Paul


Last edited by spoons on Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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David McNay
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This memorial appears not to be listed by the UKNIWM.
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Murray



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David McNay wrote:
Quick update - I've just spoken to someone from the BBC, so hopefully there will be an article on this.

Any other suggestions of who we can contact?


Lorraine Kelly. Not BBC but she supports the Scottish Soldiers and comes from Dundee.
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Keptie



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 899
Location: near Arbroath Angus

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:33 pm    Post subject: Ca\ird Park Dundee Great War Memorial Reply with quote

Thank you Mark for allowing me to use the pics of the Vandalised War Memorial at the Caird Park Dundee on the Black Watch website on Pat's Corner . The pics added to the factual story .

I was also pleased too to see the Courier & Advertiser for today ( 21st April 2009) had a large write up about our Scottish War Memorials Project highlighting the wilful damage and the neglect by the Dundee Council after the damage was reported back in 2005 . The newspaper report also mentioned Bob Paterson , chairman of the recently formed Western Front Assoc ( Tayside & Fife branch) and Major Ronnie Proctor The Black Watch association
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dhubthaigh
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Ca\ird Park Dundee Great War Memorial Reply with quote

Keptie wrote:
Thank you Mark for allowing me to use the pics of the Vandalised War Memorial at the Caird Park Dundee on the Black Watch website on Pat's Corner . The pics added to the factual story .

No probs.

Keptie wrote:
I was also pleased too to see the Courier & Advertiser for today (21st April 2009) had a large write up about our Scottish War Memorials Project

We try our best
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dhubthaigh
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thread running on 'Pat's Corner' of The Black Watch Forum;

http://www.blackwatchforums.co.uk/ubbthreads.php/topics/33644/Caird_Park_War_Memorial_Dundee.html
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David McNay
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any chance of a scan of the Courier article?
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George Armstrong Custer



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done David - the story has now been picked up by the BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/8010487.stm

The council will find it difficult to avoid doing their duty this time as was apparently the case in 2005 - though it would appear that Councillor Bob Duncan is setting the scene for an attempt to wriggle out. If a new memorial needs to be commissioned then the council ought to foot the bill - the situation today is due to their poor stewardship over many years. And sticking an ersatz plaque on a wall somewhere will not constitute a replacement memorial!

Best,

George
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David McNay
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Article now on the BBC News website:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/8010487.stm

I'm not particularly impressed by Councillor Bob Duncans comments. They seem incrediby pessimistic.

EDIT: George beat me to it!
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Keptie



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
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Location: near Arbroath Angus

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:51 pm    Post subject: Caird park Dundee memorial Reply with quote

Seems the Councillor is wanting out of the idea of the care and custody of this Great War memorial .

Baillie Gillies accepted the custody of the Memorial on BEHALF OF THE CORPORATION and he would have realised that it was not just to leave the memorial to rot away but maintain in the Memory of the 25 Men of the Parish of Mains who sacrificed their whole lives for the Country and Councillor Duncan must in all honestly continue that path and not have the "Lord Nelson syndrum " of .........." I SEE NO SHIPS!"


Patrick W Anderson
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David McNay
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Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's clear we need to maintain pressure on the council in order to avoid them sweeping this under the carpet, as it's clear they did in 2005. Perhaps we should be looking at organising our effort more formally - does anyone have any suggestions?

I'm going to move this thread into the "general" section - can I ask Mark to create a new thread in the Dundee civic section for the memorial? That way this discussion can continue but won't clog up the listings.
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Murray



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David McNay wrote:
Any chance of a scan of the Courier article?


.....................................................

From the Dundee Courier

By Katie Smyth

21 April 2009

FORMER SOLDIERS and members of the Black Watch Association last night condemned the defacement of a war memorial in Caird Park, Dundee, as “despicable.”



Unveiled by Lieutenant-Colonel JB Muir, commanding 4/5th Battalion The Black Watch, the sandstone fountain was erected in 1922, and bears the names of 25 servicemen from Mains Parish who fell in the first world war.

The memorial today stands daubed with juvenile slogans and the names of the perpetrators, branded as “scum” on one war memorial internet forum.

Pictures of the graffitied fountain posted on the War Memorial Scotland website over the weekend have provoked horrified comments.

The remarks from ex-soldiers are united in their condemnation of the vandalism that includes paint spatters, marker pen and even the chipping away of sections of the original names. Some of the graffiti is dated as far back as 2005.

Former soldier “Spoons” from St John’s Town of Dalry said, “This is truly awful and shows that some education is needed in the local schools as well as some serious work done to make good the damage.”

Adam Brown from Sutherland, said, “Does Dundee City Council have no shame? It looks like they have completely given up on this memorial.”

David McNay from Lanarkshire said, “I would suggest the corporation and therefore the council have failed in their duty here.”

A writer from Forfar added, “I heard that the councils in the UK get money from the central government for maintenance of their war memorials.

“Seems if that is fact then they do little maintenance.”

Lord Provost John Letford last night promised to look into the matter and make sure the situation is remedied as soon as possible.

He said, “I wasn’t aware of this previously but it’s sick and unacceptable. These memorials are important to this city and it is quite disgraceful that anyone would stoop to such lengths to desecrate them.”

A spokesman for Dundee City Council said, “We have received complaints about the memorial and we will investigate.”

Bob Paterson, chairman of the Tayside branch of the Western Front Association, said last night, “This memorial has to be restored by the council as it is a major part of our local heritage. We also feel that the memorial after restoration should be moved to a far more prominent location where more people can see it.

“I know money is a problem. However the Tayside branch of the WFA will be delighted to work with the council or whoever to get this memorial up to standard—a standard which many Black Watch men gave their lives for.”

Major Ronnie Proctor, secretary of the Black Watch Association, said, “I think that people who desecrate war memorials are very low and don’t realise that men and women actually gave up their lives so we can walk around free.

“I really think it’s despicable. They ought to realise the sacrifices of these men for our freedom.”

The website group plan to lobby the council’s leisure department and have notified other websites and blogs to rally support.

The Scottish War Memorials Project
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Murray



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

War memorial vandals criticised

The state of a Dundee war memorial has been criticised as calls are made for it to be restored and relocated.


Names have been written and paint daubed on the war memorial

The monument in Caird Park records the names of the men from Mains Parish who died during World War One.

It was erected in 1922, but over recent years has been vandalised by people writing their names or slogans on it.

However, it may be difficult to clean because the sandstone could be damaged by any attempts to use chemicals or pressure washes.

The poor state of the monument was highlighted by the Scottish War Memorials Project, which is trying to record details of all the war memorials in Scotland.

David McNay, from the project, told the BBC Scotland news website that the Caird Park memorial was one of the worst they had seen.

"You do see the occasional bit of damage - that can happen over time, I mean some of these are approaching nearly 100 years old now," he said.

"But this does seem to be out of the ordinary, it just seems to have been left completely with no attention spent on it at all.

"Restoration needs to be looked at because some of the names recorded on there are in danger of being lost.

"And I also think relocation because it's obviously in a bad situation for vandals."


Trying to clean the memorial could damage the sandstone

Major Ronnie Proctor, from the Black Watch Association, added: "Vandalism to any war memorial really is quite shocking.

"The people who have committed this act should realise that the men whose names are on these memorials have actually given up their lives so they have got the freedom that they take for granted today.

"These names are not just names conjured up out of a hat but they have been sons, fathers, brothers, real people who lived."

Councillor Bob Duncan explained that the porous nature of sandstone made saving the monument difficult.

He said: "Unfortunately there is not a lot anyone can do now to clean up or preserve the stone after almost 90 years of exposure to the elements, and more recently vandalism of the worst kind.

"Sandstone, while an attractive rock, soaks up the inks and paints that have been daubed on it and any attempts to clean it only result in more damage.

"There is no way that it can be pressure washed or have any harsh chemicals used on it as the memorial is now comparatively delicate.

"The memorial was erected by the people of Mains Parish to commemorate their war dead, but unfortunately the community spirit that was so prevalent in the immediate aftermath of the horrors of World War One seems to no longer exist there."

Source: The BBC
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