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Public backs Cumbrian man's memorial cross

A 9ft tall cross which a man put up in memory of his wife on Workington slag banks has sparked a major debate.

Memory: Peter Nelson and the nine-foot cross

More than 1,400 people have signed a petition in just 24 hours calling on landowners Cumbria County Council to leave Peter Nelson’s tribute in his wife’s honour alone.

The council is deciding what to do with the structure which appeared less than two weeks ago without planning consent.

Mr Nelson placed the wooden and steel cross, featuring a stainless steel Christ, as a tribute to his wife Angela who died in March.

He cemented it onto the top of an existing stone seat on the peak of the slag banks, which is visible from a long distance. Attached to the feet and hands are red ribbons signifying the crucifixion and a chain has been wound around the base to allow people to fix padlock tributes to their loved ones.

Many people have posted their opinions on the Old Workington Facebook page, where a link can also be found to the petition.

The bulk of comments are in support of the cross.

Fiona Burrow said: “Beautiful idea. I sincerely hope the council don’t take it down.

“It is doing no harm and is a loving memorial.”

And Liz Fleming said: “This is a wonderful tribute. Not only to this gentleman’s wife, but to so many others who lived in and around the area and loved it dearly ... the council should embrace the fact that someone has gone to the trouble of giving them a memorial that will give pleasure to so many.”

Mr Nelson, who used to run Crystal Commissions on Vulcan’s Lane, said he had always wanted to put a work of art on the shoreline.

“There is nothing here to match something significant like the Angel of the North, which is a shame,” added the 49-year-old.

He said he picked the spot because of memories he had of walking with his wife – who he was married to for 24 years – and their dogs.

A county council spokesman said: “We’re still considering our position.

"There are clearly strong feelings on both sides but we have to do what is right and not make a rushed decision. We hope to have an answer late next week.”

Have your say

Leave the statue alone.It is a beautiful memorial.

Posted by Mike Grierson on 7 September 2014 at 20:44

I think the council should leave the memorial alone after all they wouldn't go into a cemetery and remove a headstone would they? It would amount to the same thing. It's actually nice to see it from a distance like it's watching over town if it gives him comfort each time he sees it then I'm all for it staying.

Posted by tracy langsley on 13 August 2014 at 23:34

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