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Mains War Memorial, Dundee - vandalised and abandoned!
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George Armstrong Custer



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jim, I think the posts from Adam Brown and David McNay effectively dispose of the calumny that the SWMP supports the idea of refusing permission the move the memorial. I'm sure Ian and I will reiterate that point when we meet with Historic Scotland in Edinburgh next week.

The point your raise about what sounds like a quasi-formal relationship between the War Memorials Trust and Historic Scotland is extremely interesting. The woman I spoke to at the WMT yesterday insisted that their role was only that of any other interested party exercising their right to support or object to the planning application put before HS by Dundee Council. If there's more to the relationship of the two organisations than that, then there's clear potential for a conflict of interest and undue influence when the two organisations form a common view. It certainly goes a long way towards explaining Historic Scotland's Judith Roebuck lifting the phone to the WMT the minute my call to her ended. Our experience with Historic Scotland to date has been one of institutional incompetence, though we remain open to them persuading us otherwise when we meet with them next week. But the more I find out about the WMT, the more I think they ought to keep their neb out of Scottish affairs unless and until they are invited to participate in cases where nothing local has been organised to address a problem with a war memorial.

George
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George Armstrong Custer



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS - can some kind Admin please explain why the 'edit' function appears to have been disabled for this forum? It makes it impossible to correct annoying typos which I only notice after posting!
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kinnethmont



Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 1649
Location: Aberdeenshire

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The woman I spoke to at the WMT yesterday insisted that their role was only that of any other interested party exercising their right to support or object to the planning application put before HS by Dundee Council.


George

That being the case she would be in the same position as me. If I wished to object to a Planning / Listed Building Consent application I would write to the local authority planning service ie. Dundeee Council in this case, not Historic Scotland. As a " B " Listed structure they are required to refer the application to HS. However, the Council makes the decision not HS. That said, it would be unusual for a Council to over-rule their view. In some planning cases the Scottish Ministers have the final say.

If WMT were a Stutuatory Consultee that would be another matter as the Council would be compelled to contact them. Clearly their views are not recognised as being that important. They were formerly known as Friends of War Memorials.

If you check out the WMT Scotland Small Grants forms, etc on their site the Historic Scotland logo is on their application form. It's text suggests they are actually " granting " HS funds in some cases.
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If ye break faith with us who die
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In Flanders fields.

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George Armstrong Custer



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim, ponce again thanks for drawing my attention to info I was not previously aware of - but then, after my being involved in this project for 18 months, the WMT only crossed my radar for the first time in connection with the Mans memorial yesterday! It seems clear that the WMT has no official statur in either England or Scotland, but are merely an interest group with charitable status. It would be interesting to determine whether they are in fact a registered charity in Scotland - if they are not, then they would not have even that status here.

Of related interest is the fact that Judith Roebuck of Historic Scotland told me yesterday that if the HS decision were appealed, they would be unlikely to contest it. Nothing like having the courage of your convictions then, eh?

If what you say about the Council having to ignore Historic Scotland's decision is correct, then I wonder if procedurally they are obliged to await that decision first, rather than just poceeding regardless. Frankly, I believe procedure ought to be followed, but if the outcome is unsatisfactory to the majority local opinion then it ought to be challenged. I imagine that if push came to shove, then Historic Scotland might find it embarrassing that the coalition of interested parties who had lobbied for them to list the memorial for its protection, were now appealing against Historic Scotland's decision to veto the united wishes of both these local groups and the local authority. At the end of 18 months of effort by many people in both the community and the Council - particularly, I have to say, on the part of Ian Robertson - it is extremely frustrating to be confronted with an attempt to undermine these efforts by an organisation which is singularly ill-informed as to the local problems and the most appropriate solutions to these.

George
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George Armstrong Custer



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reposting my last due to it having so many errors and typos - oh for an edit button!

Jim, once again thanks for drawing my attention to info I was not previously aware of - but then, after my being involved in this project for 18 months, the WMT only crossed my radar for the first time in connection with the Mains memorial yesterday! It seems clear that the WMT has no official status or powers in either England or Scotland, but are merely an interest group with charitable status. It would be interesting to determine whether they are in fact a registered charity in Scotland - if they are not, then they would not have even that status here.

Of related interest is the fact that Judith Roebuck of Historic Scotland told me yesterday that if the HS decision were appealed, they would be unlikely to contest it. Nothing like having the courage of your convictions then, eh?

If what you say about the Council having the power to ignore Historic Scotland's decision is correct, then I wonder if procedurally they are obliged to await that decision first, rather than just poceeding regardless. Frankly, I believe procedure ought to be followed, but if the outcome is unsatisfactory to the majority local opinion then it ought to be challenged. I imagine that if push came to shove, then Historic Scotland might find it embarrassing that the coalition of interested parties who had lobbied for them to list the memorial for its protection were now appealing against Historic Scotland's decision to veto the united wishes of both these local groups and the local authority. At the end of 18 months of effort by many people in both the community and the Council - particularly, I have to say, on the part of Ian Robertson - it is extremely frustrating to be confronted with an attempt to undermine these efforts by an organisation which is singularly ill-informed as to the local problems and the most appropriate solutions to these.

George
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kinnethmont



Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 1649
Location: Aberdeenshire

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If what you say about the Council having to ignore Historic Scotland's decision is correct, then I wonder if procedurally they are obliged to await that decision first, rather than just poceeding regardless.


For the avoidance of confusion, I did not imply the Council would ignore H S's decision, rather I suggested the opposite would be the near certain outcome.

If Listed Building Consent has been sought, it is basically a planning application, like any other. However, the case details are referred to HS who will then report back to the Council. I do not believe the application could / would be progressed further without the HS report.
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Jim

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

www.kinnethmont.co.uk
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George Armstrong Custer



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kinnethmont wrote:

For the avoidance of confusion, I did not imply the Council would ignore H S's decision, rather I suggested the opposite would be the near certain outcome.


My fault, Jim - see the corrected version which I posted subsequent to the one you quote. As I say, this forum could really do wih the 'edit' function being enabled!

George
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Murray



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:47 pm    Post subject: Vandalised Caird Park memorial to be moved Reply with quote

A Black Watch veteran has praised Dundee City Council for agreeing to move a war memorial repeatedly targeted by vandals.


Rob Scott (67) has welcomed plans to move the Caird Park memorial to the fenced Caird Park sports stadium.

The Methil resident, whose son and grandson both served in Iraq, backed councillors who agreed to the move after the landmark was defaced with graffiti earlier in the year.

The sandstone fountain, which is dedicated to Black Watch soldiers who died in the first world war, was put up in 1922 and commemorates 25 servicemen from Mains Parish.

The defacing provoked outcry and calls were made for it to be relocated.

With its future secure, Mr Scott hopes that the significance of the tribute will become clear to the public.

He said, "Any recognition of the regiment is important and if memorials are put in places where people can't see them then they will forget.

"If people pass a tribute then they'll say, 'Oh, The Black Watch' and it keeps it in the public conscience.

"They've got one of Desperate Dan in the town centre but The Black Watch is as important to Dundee as D. C. Thomson is."

'Very important'

He added, "People should do everything to preserve these things.

"It's very important to keep these things alive."

An agreement to move the memorial was finally reached following approval from Historic Scotland.

It was granted listed status by the organisation and any move depended upon their approval.

The extent of the vandalism meant that leaving the tribute in its current location was simply not feasible, its sandstone construction unable to cope with chemical treatment or pressure washing.

Councillor Ian Borthwick added his backing for the project to move the memorial, adding his regret that such a measure was necessary.

The Strathmartine representative said, "Obviously the memorial has been there for many years and many people have links with those who it commemorates.

"I think it's the best solution to move it to a secure location to prevent any further damage.

"The memorial means a lot to people but it's extremely regrettable that some do not respect the importance of it."

The Courier
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kinnethmont



Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 1649
Location: Aberdeenshire

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:59 pm    Post subject: Vandalised Caird Park memorial to be moved Reply with quote

Quote:
The sandstone fountain, which is dedicated to Black Watch soldiers who died in the first world war, was put up in 1922 and commemorates 25 servicemen from Mains Parish.


When will they ever learn it is not a Black Watch memorial. Sadly, typical of the press these days!
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Jim

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

www.kinnethmont.co.uk
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Ian Robertson



Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Posts: 24
Location: Broughty Ferry

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a short update. George and I met with Historic Scotland and managed to convince them that moving the memorial was in its best interest. There's been a bit of back and forward with the council because HS had some conditions attached to their agreement, one of which was that the work has to be completed within a certain timescale. After we knew that HS were in agreement we then asked the council to give us a timescale for the work but they seemed reluctant to commit themselves so I contacted the Courier and asked them to investigate the current situation and any developments with the memorial since their original article in April 2009 in the hope that this would put a bit of heat back on the council. The story has taken a bit of time to appear, initially because of all the column inches they were devoting to the bad weather but I think now, for the first time, I am confident that the work will take place. I am pretty sure that given what the council conservation officer told me we will not see work start until the milder weather returns because the mortars that they will use will not set in cold weather. We will continue to keep pressure on the council until the work has been completed.
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Murray



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:07 am    Post subject: Negotiations continue over renovation: Reply with quote

Negotiations continue over renovation of vandalised Caird Park war memorial

Work on the renovation of a vandalised memorial commemorating the 26 men of the Mains parish who lost their lives fighting in the first world war could start soon, Dundee City Council has confirmed.



* By Alan Wilson
* Published in the Courier : 08.02.11
* Published online : 08.02.11 @ 06.12pm

A spokesman for the council said plans are still ongoing and discussions with Historic Scotland are at an advanced stage, with only some remaining detail to be finalised before work can start.
Caird Park memorial

The plan to move the memorial to inside the fenced Caird Park stadium has been stalled by red tape after being suggested by officials last April.

The delay came after an approach to Historic Scotland by the Tayside branch of the Western Front Association, who themselves felt the project was stalling, the council say.



As the memorial had now been listed, the council had to obtain permission for the work from Historic Scotland.

It was hoped to begin restoring the vandalised memorial early in November, however discussions with Historic Scotland have dragged on.

A spokesman for the city council said they had received conditional approval from Historic Scotland however, further details have to be satisfied before final approval for the renovation is given.

Councillor Bob Duncan, convener of the council's leisure, arts and communities committee, said, "I was in a meeting this morning about this very matter and negotiations with prospective contractors are nearing completion."
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dhubthaigh
Our first ever 1000-poster


Joined: 19 Dec 2006
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Location: Blairgowrie, Perthshire

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are there any updates regarding the current situation?
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David McNay
Curator


Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7557
Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

George will hopefully be able top update us a little better, but the memorial has now been relocated and cleaned up to some extent.
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Ian Robertson



Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Posts: 24
Location: Broughty Ferry

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A brief update.
The memorial has been repositioned and cleaned and the area landscaped. An interpretation panel has been designed and commissioned detailing the memorial's history and including the names of the men and their units (The latter is not on the original plaque). The research into the men was undertaken by Tom McCluskey and his wife Anne.
The intention is to have an official dedication/unveiling on the 11th Nov which will be attended by representatives of the council and other bodies. The structure will unveiled by Colonel Rose of Balhousie and the service will be conducted by the Rev David J Randall who is the Minister of Mains parish. Members of the public are more than welcome to attend.
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David McNay
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
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Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would love to be able to attend, but sadly work commitments prevent me from being there.

I hope all goes well, and I hope there will be plenty of photographs of the memorial in its new location.
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