A NEW management team has taken over the war memorial at Shoreham Airport to maintain it as a public amenity.
The memorial, installed by Gerald Spicer in 1997, was falling into disrepair and the airport owners asked Anne Bean, wife of Shoreham RAFA Airshow founder Don Bean, to take on the project.
She formed a trustee management team, the Shoreham Airport Community Memorial, and a dedication service is planned later this month for when the work is complete.
Mrs Bean said: “It is now managed and maintained as a public amenity, not-for-profit enterprise and all funds raised will be used to maintain the site.
“Thanks to generous donations of materials, money and skilled labour from local companies, tradesmen and individuals, as well as the airport owners and operators, the site is being refurbished and improved.”
The B26 propeller has been re-installed, after removal and a complete overhaul by a professional company. The bend in the lower left blade has been left, as this is was how it was when recovered from the downed aircraft.
A new paved walkway round the memorial allows ease of access for all and two wooden planters have been placed each side of the south face, to be filled with appropriate plants during the different seasons.
The memorial stone to Brian Brown, who died in 2007 when his plane crashed during the Shoreham Airshow, will be re-sited within the memorial and a similar stone for Don Bean will be placed on site.
Mrs Bean added: “The memorial is non-denominational and is designed for the remembrance of those who gave their lives in past conflicts and also a place for a permanent tribute to honour a person connected with or making a significant contribution to the airport.
“Everyone is invited to use the area for a moment of reflection and remember those who will never be forgotten.”
Organisations can visit during airport opening hours and, with advance application to the trustees, use the memorial to conduct a service of remembrance and thanksgiving, place wreaths and parade standards.
Space has been left for memorial stones to be placed alongside the paved walkway, or metal plaques can placed on the central support.
Mrs Bean added: “To maintain the quality and integrity of the site, all additions to the memorial must be approved by the trustees, laid or affixed by an appointed person and supplied through approved suppliers. The specifications and prices will be available soon.”
The Shoreham Airport Community Memorial is supported entirely by donations and business sponsorship. It is too small to be a registered charity, but it is run under a constitution as advised by the Charity Commission.
To make a donation or for more information, email the trustees at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Community Memorial, Main Terminal Building, Brighton City Airport, Shoreham BN43 5FF.
The Shoreham Airport Community Memorial website is under construction and will contain more information, as well as memorial application documents.