Kimberley head girl’s mission for memorial fund

Student Melissa Robertson, 18 is hoping to raise funds to restore Kimberley War Memorial
Student Melissa Robertson, 18 is hoping to raise funds to restore Kimberley War Memorial

A sixth former is endeavouring to raise support for a much-needed restoration of Kimberley War Memorial.

Head girl at Kimberley School, Melissa Robertson, 17, addressed a town council meeting last week to announce her campaign to restore the memorial, by seeking grants and petitioning support from local people.

She said: “It matters to me because a lot of people I’ve spoken to feel the memorial is a representation of our respect of those who fell in war 100 years ago and that’s not how I want our respect to be represented.

Built in 1921, the Grade II structure is the only domed war memorial in Britain.

Kimberley School’s badge is well known to carry the memorial, so Melissa says it is a major symbol of the town and needs to be cherished .

The Rev Barbara Holbrook has been a strong supporter of the project and joins Kimberley Town Council in forming a fundraising committee.

She said: “We have to apply for funding grants and to put in a good application we need to show that what we’re doing has the community’s support.”

Melissa added: “We are aiming to reach 1,000 signatures to show this is something the majority of Kimberley wants.”

Kimberley Town Council has allocated £20,000 from its reserves towards the project should the complete cost of £73,000 be reached.

Chairman David Nunn said: “Melissa has done great work at Kimberley School and in the wider community, raising awareness through her petition.”

And the petition is off to a strong start and has already received 600 signatures.

The memorial cost the equivalent of £32,000 when it was originally built in 1921. It received a £100,000 renovation in 2008.

Kimberley Town Council has campaigned for more cash claiming it has deteriorated badly over the past five years.

Vibrations from Kimberley Main Street are believed to have contributed to the gradual damage.

The memorial honours the servicemen from Kimberley who fell in the first and second world wars.