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Thursday 10 April 2008

'Albert', Grange over Sands

Please read the comment at the bottom of thi post. It appears I was misinformed and that the restoration of 'Albert' was almost exclusively at the expense of Brancaster Homes. I apologise to them and any others whom I might have offended by insinuating otherwise. 

Standing in the gardens of Cartmel Grange Nursing Home and overlooking the Allithwaite road going out of Grange over Sands there is a memorial which has caused quite a stir in recent years. Made of cast concrete it depicts a young soldier standing at ease on a large square plinth.

I came across him some years ago when I first started researching memorials in South Lakeland relegated to the corner of the grounds and in a poor state of repair; his boots had been roughly patched and there was a hole in his neck through which water penetrated, rotting him from the inside out.

I told fellow enthusiast Howard Martin about him. As a district councillor for Cartmel Howard immediately took up the cause. With the help of various grants, Albert - as he has come to be known - was restored to his former glory and, equally important, restored to his original position at the side of the former bowling green in front of the house. It must be said that the present owner, Brancaster Care Homes, has been hugely supportive of the project.

The Nursing Home was originally built as a convalescent home for the Club & Institutes Union and an inscription on the plinth shows that Albert was presented by Normanton Central Liberal Club, near Wakefield .......
In Memory of Club Men Fallen ....... Let Not His Memory Fade
Despite considerable effort it has not proved possible to discover anything more about him, who created the memorial or when it was unveiled or by whom. However, this postcard turned up on ebay which probably shows two officers of Normanton Liberal Club posing beside Albert soon after he arrived in Grange.

The memorial probably represents one of the earliest attempts in the country at producing a cast concrete statue. It is certainly unique in the database of the UK National Inventory of War Memorials.


Anonymous said...

I live in Grange and I'm doing a world war one project in English Literature (AS-Level). Found this interesting, and added it in my presentation! :) Could have done with some dates - shame is wasn't possible.

Val Kendall said...

I cannot believe the audacity of the comments with regard to the owners of 'Albert' beibng supportive in his restoration! Brancaster Care paid in full for his restoration with no grants whatsoever apart from a miniscule amount towards his plinth from English Heritage. If it wasn't for Brancaster Care he would still be in a sorry state of repair and decline. Very disappointing to read that others are taking credit for this when it was Cartmel Grnage stand alone when it came to the restoration!