Burslem were proud and honoured to carry out cleaning and renovation work at Tonbridge Memorial Gardens in preparation for the recent Remembrance Day commemorations and indeed have a history of restoration work at this important local site.
Tonbridge Memorial Gardens, located in the centre of the town, were first installed in the early 1950s to commemorate those that had died in both the first and second World Wars. Over 3000 men left Tonbridge to fight in World War I. The main feature of the Gardens is the Yorkstone and brickwork Memorial Wall displaying the names of the 364 local men who fell in World War I.
During the years that followed the Gardens fell into disrepair and a charitable trust was set up to regenerate the site. This resulted in the remodelling of the Gardens with landscaped areas to compliment the main war memorial which is constructed in Yorkstone and brickwork.
In 2009 Burslem was commissioned to replace the badly spalled band course and re-bed the coping stones on top. The main challenge of this particular assignment was cutting the band course in a large curve to match the raking of the brickwork and then hand carving very large letters, some six inches tall for the dedication: “AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN AND IN THE MORNING WE WILL REMEMBER THEM”.
On completion of the works we sent our letter cutter to engrave the dedication plaque commemorating the opening of the garden by our friend the Duke of Kent who also opened our new works in 2007.
Earlier this month we were contacted again by Tonbridge and Malling DC to clean and repair elements of the memorial garden, primarily
as a result of skate board related damage, in preparation for the remembrance service on Sunday 12th November.
Tonbridge Memorial Gardens isn’t the only public memorial Burslem have been involved with in the town. In 2004 we were commissioned by The Friends of Tonbridge New War Memorial to produce a new memorial in more prominent position in the town. The memorial, which stands in the High Street on the north side of the river, was dedicated by the Bishop of Tonbridge on 11th November 2004 to commemorate all those who have lost their lives in service of the community in peace as well as war.
The memorial was designed by Tonbridge sculptor Peter Hills and bears the words ‘In proud memory of all Tonbridge men and women who have given their lives in serving our community during war and peace’. It was sculpted in Tunbridge Wells in Chilmark and Portland limestone.
View more of Burslem’s work on public and war memorials here.