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Shining a light on borough’s rich history

15 November 2017

Rochdale Cenotaph.

A quartet of historic lights around Rochdale Cenotaph have been restored to their former glory.

The columns, which were previously painted black, have been repainted in their original gold and green colours, after paint analysis was undertaken by heritage experts.

'Newly revamped lights date from the 1920s'

The historic structures, which are believed to date from the 1920s, will light up for the first time in almost 40 years, with the bulbs having also been replaced as part of the £40,000 revamp.

The painstaking restoration involved the use of historic photos so specialists could recreate the bespoke cast iron patternwork.

Councillor Richard Farnell, leader of the council, said: "Rochdale's many stunning historical assets deserve to be showcased in all their glory, so it's great to see these distinctive lights shining bright again.

"This is one of many important heritage projects we have undertaken in recent months, including the revamp of the Quaker burial ground in Ball Street where Rochdale-born MP John Bright is buried and the installation of lights around his statue in Broadfield Park. We know that honouring our history is really important because it gives people a sense of pride in the area, so there we will be lots more of this to come."

Much of the work was undertaken by local firms, with Middleton-based, Metcraft Lighting, Heywood-based D Turner and Son and Rochdale-based H Bell and Sons, all commissioned for the job. The council is now looking to restore the 13 lighting columns in the sunken gardens section of the Rochdale Memorial Gardens.

'More improvement work around Rochdale Town Hall will take place in early 2018'

Work to revive the town centre's heritage quarter will continue in 2018, when the council will commission a landscape architect to create some designs to transform Town Hall Square and better frame the grade 1 listed town hall. The designs will be put out to public consultation before any final decisions are made on how the area  will look.