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Gillamoor rallies round to rebuild war memorial destroyed by car
A VILLAGE war memorial destroyed by a car earlier this year has been rebuilt.
Residents of Gillamoor were stunned when the memorial, built in 1920 to remember those from the village who served in the 1914-18 war, was completely destroyed.
Hawson Simpson, chairman of the parish meeting, said: “The young motorist had a miraculous escape.
“No-one could believe he got out of the wreckage unharmed when they saw the extent of the damage caused to the memorial.
“It caused a lot of distress in Gillamoor because the memorial is such a landmark on the village green with the church in the background.”
But the villagers rallied round to bring about the repairs and the NFU Mutual Insurance Company acted quickly to enable the work to get under way, said Mr Simpson.
One of Yorkshire’s leading stonemasons, Sam Baxter, of Harrogate, was brought in to work on the design and source the stone which originated from Huddersfield before being dressed at Dring’s stoneworks at Habton.
Sam, who has undertaken extensive work for English Heritage at Rievaulx Abbey, Pickering and Scarborough castles, said: “It was a challenging piece of work to replicate the previous memorial which was in pieces. But I enjoyed carrying out the work, especially as Gillamoor people were so keen to see a new memorial in place.”
Fortunately, as part of a school project, pupils at Gillamoor School had taken several photographs of the memorial and its lettering, enabling Mr Baxter to design its replacement identically.
Several of those who took part in the project laid the time capsule in the base before the stone cross was put in place with the aid of gear provided by a local farmer.
In the capsule, filled by Mr Simpson, were several items relating to Gillamoor in 2012, including a list of all residents and their addresses.
“Hopefully it will not need to be discovered for very many years because the new memorial is a splendid piece of work,” he said.
Iron chains around the memorial are now also being restored to provide the finishing touches and the village is planning to have a special service of dedication at the memorial in time for Remembrance Day in November.