Prominent Bognor Regis stonemason David Gibson has been dubbed the “mane” man after being chosen to revamping the historic Eastergate Lion War Memorial.
The memorial has had a funding boost in the shape of a grant of £6,500 from the War Memorials Trust Grants Scheme. The money will enable the memorial Portland sand stone to be cleaned, then repointed by David.
David, a stonemason, letter carver, memorial stone artist and calligrapher with over 30 years experience, has worked on war memorials previously and says they deserve to look at their best to honour those they remember.
“This was erected almost 100 years ago when there was hardly any traffic,” he said. “A mini-roundabout was used to protect it but being where it is the memorial is subject to its fair share of general wear.
“Scaffolding will be put up by Kim Homer and Mitch Rafferty of K & M Scaffolding and work should take about three weeks. I have worked on similar memorials in Farnham and Petersfield in the past. The nature of where this is means scaffolding is essential for safety.”
In addition, careful cleaning will be undertaken of the railings before prime and re-paint to match original colour scheme.
The Eastergate Lion War Memorial was designed and sculptured by Morris Harding RBS using Portland sand stone in 1920 and unveiled in 1921 by the Duke of Richmond and Gordon. It is Grade II listed.
Francis Moreton, the director of the War Memorials Trust, said “War memorials are a tangible connection to our shared past creating a link between the fallen and today.
“It is vital we ensure all our war memorials are in the best possible condition for their age and the charity is delighted to support this project.
“The centenary of World War 1 is a wonderful opportunity for local communities across the country to protect and conserve their war memorials. If anyone knows of any other war memorials in need of help please contact us.”