Current Projects


Warning Zone Leicester

Headed by Denis Kenyon, the Project has been working with Warning Zone Life Skills Centre in Leicester to provide them with a display to highlight to children the impact that the vandalism of graves and headstones has on other people.

Warning Zone is a Leicester-based charity focussed on providing Year Six children (around ten years  of age) with awareness and understanding of the risks involved in areas such as fire, under-age drinking, anti-social behaviour, road safety and the dangers associated with building sites and open water.

Warning Zone’s centre at Frog Island, Leicester has realistic, interactive displays for children to participate in and learn from in each of its eight awareness zones and is visited by around 9,000 school children every year.

Working closely with Warning Zone and themed display specialists - Meticulous Ltd – Denis Kenyon has
commissioned a design and format for the display.

A design has been agreed with Meticulous that will use the very latest display technology to provide an example of a typical headstone bearing the name of a fallen son.  The display will then transform into an audio-visual history showing the young man when he was a baby, as a schoolboy, as a young man answering the call-to-arms and then of his mother receiving the news of his death.  Special effects will then show the headstone bearing graffiti and suffering from vandalism which will be accompanied by a message from the young man’s mother telling the audience of how the headstone represents a person’s life and asks them how they would feel if this happened to someone close to them.  An initial outline of a design for the display can be seen in the image above.

It is hoped that the display will be installed and become operational at Warning Zone in time for remembrance events in November this year (2016).

An update on the Working Zone project (including pictures and possibly video) will follow as soon as possible after the display becomes operational.

 


Former Donisthorpe Factory Site, Bath Lane, Leicester

Chris Stephens’ involvement in the care and preservation of the Donisthorpe memorials goes back some years before the Project became formally established.

Donisthorpe & Company Limited was a world-renown business supplying yarn and thread to the textile industry and could trace its history back to the late 18th century.  The various factory buildings were located on the site of a former Blackfriars’ priory off Bath Lane in Leicester.

There are two memorials fixed to the exterior of the former central building - Friars Mill – one commemorates 19 men from the company, including one of Donisthorpe’s Directors, who were killed in World War One; the second memorial commemorates the one employee who lost their life in World War Two whilst serving in the RAF.

The World War One memorial was erected in the early 1920s and the World War Two memorial was put in place soon after the end of that War in 1945.

Each year, Donisthorpe’s employees held a service of remembrance and laying of wreaths as near as possible to Remembrance Sunday to remember their fallen friends and  co-workers.

Following various changes in ownership of the business, trading from Bath Lane ceased in around 2005 and the buildings became empty.

Concerned at the risk of the memorials becoming defaced or damaged as the site became increasingly exposed to vandalism, Chris Stephens successfully arranged for the memorials to be covered and protected.  This proved to be an invaluable exercise as the building was subject to a number of fires, including a serious fire in 2012, but, happily, these did not affect the memorials.

Following the fires, calls were made for the site to be demolished and cleared to make way for new development.  However, due to the site’s historic links with Leicester’s textile industry, Sir Peter Soulsby (the Mayor of Leicester) refused to sanction such action opting, instead, for renovation of the existing site.


The site now provides modern office accommodation in the original buildings (see image above) and the memorials remain in their original place.

As at July 2016, Chris Stephens is liaising with the site owner and various other parties to arrange for a rededication service for the memorials.

(with thanks to Roy-Anthony Birch for providing information regarding the memorials and Sally Coleman at Leicester Arts & Museum Service for the site image)

 



Missing Memorials

We have received enquiries as to the whereabouts of war memorials known to have been located in the following:

St. Leonard's Church, Woodgate, Leicester; and

Christ Church, Bow Street, Leicester

 

If anyone knows where these memorials may currently be located or what happened to them then we would be delighted to hear from you through our Contact Us page.






Leicester City, County & Rutland "At Risk" War Memorials Project is a company limited by guarantee and incorporated in England under company registration number 08176202. The address of the company's registered office is The Chancel, rear of All Saints' Church, Highcross, Leicester LE1 4PH. Patron: John Florance. Registered as a charity for tax purposes with HMRC.  © Leicester City, County & Rutland "At Risk" War Memorials Project 2017.
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