Special sculpture to mark Motors’ wartime service

First World War memorial set for the Central area of South Ribble, to mark the 100 year anniversary of the start of the war in 2014
First World War memorial set for the Central area of South Ribble, to mark the 100 year anniversary of the start of the war in 2014

New plans for a special sculpture to commemorate Leyland Motors’ involvement in the First World War have been announced.

South Ribble Council has shown the Guardian a sketch of what the feature could look like, with the large metal design depicting a Leyland Motors worker presenting a truck to a soldier of WWI.

The memorial is due to be unveiled next year in the central area of the borough, to mark the 100 year anniversary of the start of the war in 1914.

The concept was coined by members of the Central My Neighbourhood Forum, which covers Farington, Farington Moss, Tardy Gate and Lostock Hall.

Chairman of the forum, Coun Graham Walton, said: “The idea is for this memorial to be built as a permanent feature to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War next year.

“It’s very early stages at the moment, but it’s something which has come from discussions in the forum.

“I think we’re possibly looking at putting it near the roundabout of Stanifield Lane, Farington Road, Lostock Lane and Watkin Lane, so it will greet people coming from Lostock Hall and Bamber Bridge into Farington.

“We want to show Leyland Motors presenting a truck to the forces to be used in the war.”

The indicative design shows the worker handing over the keys to the truck, as well as a fighter plane in the sky.

The trucks were brought back to Leyland after the war to be used as commercial vehicles, and provided a boost for the firm to prosper after the war.

The council is now looking to put forward a funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to pay for the project by the end of October, and it will be early next year by the time it learns if it has been successful in getting the cash.

It will then need to obtain planning permission to do the work, and commission an artist.