It all started with an idea as many projects do, to restore the Evington War Memorial site and include a local social historical project themed on WW1 to commemorate the fallen during this centenary year, lest we forget.
Parks Services are leading the restoration and improvements to the site and the Friends of Evington are leading the social element of the project. We are both linking arms to bring together ideas, support each other and find resources to bring the project to fruition. Capital resources were found from Leicester City Council to fund the restoration of the memorial itself and improve the surrounding landscape features. The Friends of Evington Group have applied and await the outcome of their application to the Heritage Lottery. Suggestions from staff and the community have fed into the project from the start and moulded the final design of the site.
The memorial, crafted out of Portland Stone was designed by Stockdale Harrison and Sons Ltd and donated by John Edward Faire Esq of Evington Hall to the people of Evington. The monument was unveiled on 25th July 1920, originally sited in the middle of the Village Green; it was then moved to its current site.
When inspected for renovation, the monument was found to be covered in Lichen and the surface was decaying due to weather and other environmental elements. It needed cleaning, repairing and repointing. Skillstone gently removed the years of grime using a Slurry Clean, a calcium treatment used to bring the stonework back to its original state. Lime mortar was used to repair and re-point all the joints and this was then all sealed using a Polyester resin. The slabs were then washed down ready for the next stage.
Currently, a new path is being created to allow easier access to the site for those who are less able. The slabs and steps are being re-laid and the new benches and a bin will complete the hard landscaping details. Through consultation, everyone felt the formal flower beds would look better if they were symmetrical. Both Leicester City Council and the Friends of Evington members, with the local community, are joining forces to create the new features and plant them up together in June.
Friends of Evington have applied for funding to develop a World War 1 project which will be about events, collections, storytelling and activities.
On 4th of August, the date for the outbreak of WW1, there will be the unveiling the restoration of the War Memorial by the Lord Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby and afterwards at Evington Village Hall.
In September, our heritage walk will be an opportunity to learn about our local buildings, their role in wartime and Evington village 100 years ago.
At the 11th November event, we will be burying a time capsule.
Our collections will be the memories of people who now live in Evington, their stories and how these stories have changed perceptions.
Our storytelling will take place in schools and tell a World War 1 story from the point of view of the people who now live in Evington. There will also be a special edition of the Evington Echo in print in October that will collect together all these happenings.
Residents of Evington are invited to send in their stories – E-mail the editor. email@example.com