One of West Kirby’s most prominent landmarks is set to be lit up properly each November.
Currently, the war memorial, which lists the names of soldiers from West Kirby and Hoylake who lost their lives in the first and second world wars, is illuminated around Remembrance Sunday by a floodlight attached to a pole.
At a meeting on Thursday 15 August, councillors approved the installation of a better lighting system, CCTV and a webcam at the famous monument, which was designed by British sculptor Charles Sargeant Jagger – the man behind the Royal Artillery Monument at Hyde Park in London.
Wirral Council’s planning committee was told the system is “designed by lighting engineers to illuminate the monument in what they consider to be the most visually satisfying manner, with all of the column and the majority of the figures illuminated. In purely design terms, the illumination is considered to enhance the appearance of the monument.”
However, the scheme had met with opposition, with 24 objections and a petition signed by around 100 people.
Petitioner Charles Barnes told the planning committee they were not being disrepectful to those who are remembered on the memorial, but were concerned about the impact the lighting would have on bats and wildlife, as well as the security of webcam recordings.
But Derek Longman, Chair of the Friends of Grange Hill, told councillors the site will benefit from CCTV because it suffers from arson and vandalism, and that the webcam will enable people such as expats to view wildlife remotely via the internet. He added that the new lighting will be more than carbon neutral than the existing sodium system.
A report to the planning committee by council officers said: “The proposed development is not considered to have a detrimental impact on the setting of the listed war memorial, amenity or ecology. Government advice is that the technologies used are not harmful to human health.”
Councillors gave the scheme the go-ahead, subject to conditions including it being illuminated during November only, and not between 11pm and 9am.
About West Kirby War Memorial
- The structure is a 14.5-metre-high, granite four-sided obelisk, standing on Grange Hill
- It is made of Cornish granite and has a bronze figure of a soldier in full battle order on east side, while on the west side is a hooded, robed female figure representing humanity, with broken chains and holding a wreath
- The memorial was unveiled on 16 December 1922 by the Earl of Birkenhead, at a ceremony attended by 5,000 people