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Remembered Today:

Aberfeldy War Memorial Relocation


Skipman
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Certain members of the local community have in mind the relocation of the Aberfeldy War Memorial. Unveiled on Sunday the 4th of June 1922, the Memorial is a unique Archway and serves as the entrance to The Den of Moness. A questionnaire was sent out by Perth and Kinross Council who plan to "improve" a number of places in the Town, including the town Square. A member of the public suggested moving the Memorial, and this idea seems to have been taken up by some members of the local Rotary Club, and another local group known as " Move to Improve " I know many of these people, and I'm sure their intentions are honourable.

A member of the Rotary Club, in favour of this plan, has written an article in a local magazine to be published shortly.

I am totally against moving the Memorial, and it never entered my head that it might have been suggested. I'm certain a majority of locals will be against this, and that it will never happen.
What are pals thoughts?
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Mike
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I agree Mike. My first thought is what is wrong with its original location? The location of which was agreed to by those who lost relatives? What would be the advantages of moving it and where to?

This memorial is a part of the towns history and so should be left there.

Some people in Thiepval might not like the memorial but would they dare ask the council to move it?

Lets move the RF Monument in Holborn because it gets in the way of the traffic.

Its absolute testicles.

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My thought too johnboy, and i have no doubt, the thoughts of the majority. I'd be interested to know what hoops a plan like this might have to go through. Any thoughts that would help put a spanner in the works of it would be welcome.

There is actually nothing wrong with its location as far as I'm concerned. Access can be rather difficult for those less able, but this is where it was placed by the people who lost their sons, including a member of the War Memorial Committee, Counsillor John MacLaren who lost both sons.

Mike

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This is a transcription of an article that appears today in a local magazine The Breadalbane Quair. I know the chap who wrote this, and I know he, and local group mentioned mean well, and do a great deal for the community. I strongly disagree with them on this issue though. That's not to say I'm right, but, it never occurred to me that re-location would ever be an issue.

Access for disabled is an issue, but am sure that could be worked round without moving the whole Memorial. The road down the Memorial is very short, and steep.

Aberfeldy War Memorial
" In this year of the Centenary of the outbreak of the First World War when you walk through the town it seems such a shame that the Aberfeldy War Memorial does not sit in a more prominent position. The town, in common with most other communities, lost the flower of its youth in the conflict yet the Memorial paid for by its citizens is not in as prominent a position as in many other communities. Move2Improve are always looking to facilitate projects that are of benefit to the community and the War Memorial and its siting are an issue that we have discussed. Quite apart from the issue of disabled access, if you had mobility problems would you like to go down that slope and equally as importantly get back up, if you wanted to take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices recorded there. Surely the Centenary of the conflict that produced so many of the names on the Memorial for such a small town is an opportune time to consider the options available. One possibility is to re-site the Memorial to a more prominent position with much better access where it can be seen to best advantage with perhaps a small Garden of Remembrance around it. An area that springs to mind which ticks the boxes is in the proximity of the Black Watch Monument where each structure would compliment the other. The space in question is the north facing edge of the putting green on Taybridge Drive. Re-siting the Memorial there would not prevent the continued use of the remaining area as a putting green. This is only an idea at the moment and a lot of planning and fundraising would be needed before it could become a reality. There are, at the moment, a number of sources of funding available for projects relating to improving Memorials. But before taking any steps, Move2Improve would like to hear the views of the people of Aberfeldy, who after all in the years after the First World War raised the funds to erect the Memorial, as to whether or not they they think that this is a good idea to pursue. If you have any comments or ideas please send them to ............ "
Mike
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I have no issue with memorials being moved.

Manchester has relocated its cenotaph to allow improvements to the tramway. Other memorials in my area have been similarly moved - usually for reasons that are traffic related. One of those moved the memorial to a more prominent position in the community as it had developed by the 1970s; another is arguably now in a less prominent position but, personally, I feel it a better position.

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Thanks John. Traffic isn't an issue in this case, and if I thought there was a really good reason for moving it, I would be in favour. Equally, if a majority of townsfolk think it better moved, then I would not have a problem with that. I think it is in a beautiful and peaceful location at the moment. This area was gifted to the town in March 1914 by the Earl of Breadalbane. Ater a vote, the people of the burgh voted to take this area on, and it was leased for a period of 99 years (which ran out in 2013) but before that, it was swallowed up in regionalisation in the early 70's. Perth and Kinross Council, since then, have been responsible for the maintenance of the area. That it has been allowed to get into a state of decay, is one of the problems? This area was once a very busy area, and I reckon with the right resources could be improved a great deal, without incurring the cost of moving the Memorial?

Mike

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Thanks John. Traffic isn't an issue in this case, and if I thought there was a really good reason for moving it, I would be in favour. Equally, if a majority of townsfolk think it better moved, then I would not have a problem with that. I think it is in a beautiful and peaceful location at the moment. This area was gifted to the town in March 1914 by the Earl of Breadalbane. Ater a vote, the people of the burgh voted to take this area on, and it was leased for a period of 99 years (which ran out in 2013) but before that, it was swallowed up in regionalisation in the early 70's. Perth and Kinross Council, since then, have been responsible for the maintenance of the area. That it has been allowed to get into a state of decay, is one of the problems? This area was once a very busy area, and I reckon with the right resources could be improved a great deal, without incurring the cost of moving the Memorial?

Mike

It sounds to me as if a sensible centenary project or similar would be to tidy up the area rather than move the memorial.

R,

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Skipman reading this it sounds like you've had a lot of thinking about it. The phrase that is telling to me: "if I thought there was a really good reason for moving it, I would be in favour. Equally, if a majority of townsfolk think..." Initially I'd have portrayed you as adamantly opposed.

I live in a town that continually pits the forces of real estate development against the display of our past. Every ten years or so some developer gets a community feeling to finish our cathedral but it turns out that would allow the addition of a second story to all the buildings in the downtown area. The move of the Aberfeldy memorial could be for the better and lead to its next 100 years of life. That could include a new golden era for it when people think 'how clever of them to move it in the teens.' Alternatively 'Move to Improve' could mean improve someones retirement plan not the memorial.

Hope you'll keep us updated on the machinations of this decision. I find that highest and best use does tend to prevail, even when the definition is distasteful.

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Derek, there is quite a lot happening in my little town at the moment, and most of it for the good. Ken, I think the population of Aberfeldy is about 2500-3000. The area in question is known as the the 'Small Birks' further up, and across the road is 'The Birks of Aberfeldy' Robert Burns wrote a famous poem about them. (though there were apparently no birch trees in the Birks at this time? What I mean, Ken, is I am opposed to the idea, but, being a democratic type chap, if, the majority of townsolk thought it was a good idea, I would go with it. I will certainly keep you informed, and I just hope it get binned, or kicked into the long grass.

Mike

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Although I can understand why some may think the memorial should be moved to a more prominent position, would this serve any useful purpose? Surely the expense would be huge and the chance of causing damage to the memorial in the process is fairly high and could add to the costs considerably. Many war memorials are located inside churches, does this mean that they should be brought out into the open for all to see--I think not!

If the Council were to clean up the area and provide good signage for people to find the memorial, then surely the money saved could be spent in other areas.

It seems to me that the local community should be made fully aware of all the costs involved and a kind of mini referendum carried out with said community of Aberfeldy. This to my mind would be a sensible and relatively cheap way to clear the matter amongst the 3000 or so inhabitants.

Robert

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Perfectly put Robert. If this proposal goes further, I will draw on any comments made here to strengthen my argument against it. I think it will just gradually be forgotten about, but who knows?

Mike

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It sounds as if the councillors are the Birks.

In a small community it is possible that some relatives of those commemorated still live there. I wonder what they think?

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In a small community it is possible that some relatives of those commemorated still live there. I wonder what they think?

There are indeed a couple of relatives, and hopefully soon find a few more. It will be interesting to hear their views.

Mike

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One correction. The local Rotary Club are not involved with this project, though some members of the Rotary Club may support the idea? Actually another correction/apology. I may have been seeing development demons where none exist, and think this was a genuine proposal to improve the town. I do still disagree with the plan to move it though.

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the corrections Mike, they are appreciated although where the idea that the proposal was anything to do with development came from I do not know. The aim was always only ever to ensure that the memorial was in a location where respect for the sacrifice of those named was better achieved. This year one resident would not apparently move his car to create some more space for those attending the Remembrance Service. Believe me if the area around the Aberfeldy War Memorial was as well looked after and treated with the same respect as is accorded to the Thiepval Memorial, which I have visited more than once, then we would not be having this discussion.

Jim

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This year one resident would not apparently move his car to create some more space for those attending the Remembrance Service. Believe me if the area around the Aberfeldy War Memorial was as well looked after and treated with the same respect as is accorded to the Thiepval Memorial, which I have visited more than once, then we would not be having this discussion.

As far as parking is concerned, I am sure that the local authority has temporary no parking cones.

Comparing it to Thiepval seems a bit OTT. This is a local memorial to local people.

If it were to be moved what would the space be used for?

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Welcome to the Forum Jim

Thanks for the corrections Mike, they are appreciated although where the idea that the proposal was anything to do with development came from I do not know. The Aberfeldy Rumour Mill?

The aim was always only ever to ensure that the memorial was in a location where respect for the sacrifice of those named was better achieved. I'm sure that's true.

This year one resident would not apparently move his car to create some more space for those attending the Remembrance Service. That was indeed unfortunate, but also believe there was a misunderstanding (language)?

Believe me if the area around the Aberfeldy War Memorial was as well looked after and treated with the same respect as is accorded to the Thiepval Memorial, which I have visited more than once, then we would not be having this discussion. I agree it is run down, but nothing that can't be corrected?

Johnboy's point about what would happen to the space after is a good one?

Mike

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Thanks for the welcome Mike. The reference to Thiepval was only in response to an earlier comment of Johnboys.

If the Memorial were to be moved then it was the intention to replace it with a plain wall and gateposts as the entrance to the Lower Birks. That was the only development ever contemplated by us.

Your faith in human nature is greater than mine as it would require a complete mindset change of those with property around the memorial and so far none has been evident. We cannot force people to clean up their property if they do not want to or cannot see that it is necessary. I am long on assertions that changing the area around the memorial can be corrected/improved but short on suggestions as to how other than how nice it looked when it was erected in 1922.

Jim

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If the Memorial were to be moved then it was the intention to replace it with a plain wall and gateposts as the entrance to the Lower Birks. That was the only development ever contemplated by us.

Replace an ornate memorial arch with a plain brick wall? How does that tidy up the area.? Are problems trying to be found as excuses for moving it?

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Jim, faith in human nature. Moi? :)

I agree the surrounding properties look untidy, to say the least. The area where you propose to relocate, is it any better? It's also at a busy crossroads, where quiet contemplation would be impossible. Close to roads where pollution would be worse, weathering due to prevailing wind would increase, and would be an archway leading to nowhere.

Mike

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