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Stowmarket: Plans gather pace to build Memorial Clock to remember First World War

06:00 10 March 2014

Stowmarket

Stowmarket's Market Place

Archant

Plans are gathering pace to construct a “landmark” clock to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War – and the service men and women who lost their lives during conflict.

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Work is being done to win grants to raise the £30,000 expected to build the clock in the centre of Stowmarket.

The town council, led by the deputy clerk, Michelle Marshall, is working on the proposals.

Town mayor-elect, Gerard Brewster, called the project “exciting”. He said: “It’s good to be able to put something into town which will last for the future generation and certainly commemorate past generations – it’s something to be proud of. Personally I think it will be quite a landmark structure in the centre of town which will improve the environment.”

The timepiece, which will be called the Memorial Clock, is to be built in the Market Place and could be as tall as 19 feet as the town council wants it to make a strong visual impact for shoppers walking by it.

It is planned to be unveiled on July 1, following a military parade beginning at the Red Gables at 11am and finishing in the Market Place. Ted Champion, president of the town’s Royal British Legion (RBL) branch which is organising the parade, said: “We totally support the clock project. We cannot put legion money towards it as we are a charity but we have had discussions about where it should go.

“This is not just for the First World War, it’s dedicated to all those who have given their lives in conflict. I am a great fan of what the town council is doing and I think they will achieve it from what I’m hearing.”

He said there were plans for the base of the clock to carry an inscription honouring Spencer John Bent, who was from Stowmarket and was awarded the Victoria Cross during the Great War.

The town council has put forward £10,000 for the project, with county councillors Stephen Searle and Gary Green also pledging money from their budgets.

The RBL is organising events to also mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War. Across the weekend of May 17-18 the Museum of East Anglian Life will host an open-air concert and there will be a chance to have artefacts from the time period examined by experts.

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