New calls for memorial plaque at South Shields park

Calls by campaigners for a second plaque in a South Shields park to highlight its significance in relation to the town's war efforts have yet to be answered by council chiefs.

Friday, 14th December 2018, 5:00 am
Updated Friday, 14th December 2018, 9:48 am
Temple Memorial Park, South Shields.
Temple Memorial Park, South Shields.

The Friends of Temple Memorial park want Temple Memorial Park recognised as a war memorial but, despite handing over the wording to council officials in July, the group is still waiting for a plaque to highlight the park as a gift to the people of South Shields for their war efforts, to be installed.

Chairwoman of the Friends Group, Margaret Watson said: “We last spoke to representatives from the council in July, when we were asked to provide the words we wanted on the plaque.

“During the meeting they agreed to a plaque and a memorial garden, where the two plaques could be displayed together, but we are still waiting to hear from them.”

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The plaque is just one of the ways the Friends group are hoping to protect the park for future generations.

As part of the ongoing work, litter picks have been taking place with the park rangers as well as work to restore the park’s old BMX track.

Charity Tyneside Outdoors have also been working alongside Durham Wildlife Trust to look at the different types of wildlife living within the park.

Gerard New from Tyneside Outdoors, who is also part of the Friends group, said; “As part of the BMX project it was important to not only look at the history of the park but also the wildlife living within it.

“We have had young people working alongside the Trust and we are looking to hopefully develop courses linked to the park around its wildlife. As not many people know of the different species of birds living within it and hopefully, it will gather interest and encourage more people and families to use the park.”

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said; “Although the plaque erected in 1961 focuses on the naming of the park it is recognised that the park was gifted to the people of the borough in recognition of the part they played in the 1939/45 war at sea.

“Placing a new plaque is a costly exercise and comes at a time of unprecedented financial pressures. The council continues to explore the possibility of a new plaque being erected and where best to place it in the event that such funding is secured.”