Plans officially launched for sculpture to commemorate the Battle of Bamber Bridge

The drawings submitted to planning bossesThe drawings submitted to planning bosses
The drawings submitted to planning bosses
Plans for a permanent memorial to the Battle of Bamber Bridge have been put forward by council officials.

South Ribble Council have applied to their own planning bosses for permission to erect a steel sculpture on the site of the 1943 Battle near the Ye Olde Hob in in Church Road.

>>>Click here to read about the Battle.

If passed, the sculpture would incorporate Ye Olde Hob Inn and Adams Hall Camp (the US base at the time), the Odl Mill, and both the British and American flags, and would be erected on land opposite the pub.

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The Hob InnThe Hob Inn
The Hob Inn

It would be made of laser cut steel plates in three layers: stainless steel, mirror-polished steel and galvanised steel.

Surrounding it, the council want to regenerate the space with a high-quality footpath, planting scheme and benches.

It is hoped the space would, in the future, be able to be used for a variety of community events.

Councillor Paul Foster, leader of South Ribble Borough Council, said: “The Battle of Bamber Bridge is an event of real cultural significance, not just locally but in the wider world – particularly in the United States. It is therefore only right that what occurred in June 1943, at the heart of our community, is properly commemorated.

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A 1943 cutting from the LEPA 1943 cutting from the LEP
A 1943 cutting from the LEP

“In partnership with UCLAN and Preston Black History Group, we have been working to create a fitting memorial that helps to educate future generations about the struggle for equality while also highlighting and celebrating our own community’s long and proud history of opposing discrimination and welcoming diversity.

“The sculpture itself has been designed with the help of local historians and academics, with the intention of creating something eye-catching and unique. It will be complemented by information points which will explain the background to and the aftermath of the incident, and its context in the battle for civil rights for African Americans.

“The memorial is intended to be the focal point of an attractive community space that can also be used for a variety of local events, and I am sure it will prove a wonderful addition to the community of Bamber Bridge.”

A public consultation was held over the plans earlier this year, with the vast majority of respondents said to like the idea.

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The land earmarked for the work. Image from Google.The land earmarked for the work. Image from Google.
The land earmarked for the work. Image from Google.

However, Bamber Bridge man Derek Rogerson, who first raised the idea of having something to commemorate the battle, has slammed the designs as "nondescript", saying ones he commissioned from Penwortham artist Tom Cookson and submitted to the council, were better.

>>>Click here to read more about the 2019 suggestion and artwork.

On his hyperlocal news blog, Mr Rogerson said: "After years of campaigning by the BBB (Bamber Bridge Bulletin), we were elated when informed by Councillor Chris Lomax, the Forum Chair of the Bamber Bridge, Lostock Hall and Walton-Le-Dale Planning Committee that the design of the memorial had been approved.

"However, we were not quite so happy to learn that despite designs submitted by local residents that had seemed to attract universal approval, it appeared that these had now been ‘forgotten’ and that outside agencies had been appointed to design the memorial with no input from the good people of Bamber Bridge.

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"A recent Facebook campaign, where both designs were featured, resulted in an overwhelming vote for the original in-house design accompanied by many asking the question as to what a nondescript street scene had to do with the events of that fateful night in June 1943 and why show the Union flag when this was an all American affair – Our thoughts as well."

The council declined to comment on Mr Rogerson's post.

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