Furious residents have hit out after a decision was made to remove a memorial beacon from a town park.

The Duffield Beacon, in Vulcan Park in Workington, was a gift to the town and the move by councillors has lit a flame under residents.

The beacon was built in 1992 from locally made rails and is named as a tribute to James Duffield, a key figure in the founding of Workington’s steel industry.

The idea has been described as wanton vandalism and there has been uproar about the proposal.

Among those left shocked at the idea is Workington Town Councillor Michael Heaslip.

He told the News & Star: “I think it’s disgraceful: it was made by the apprentices for the town.

“The beacon is there to be lighted and if it is removed we won’t be able to do this for the Queen's celebrations.

“It’s a daft idea and I’m not happy about it.

"There is a much better way to remember the forgotten army, and we should bring back the memorial that we had originally.

“The town had a street named in remembrance and this was then changed.

“It would be cost-effective to change it back and put up a memorial explaining the name.”

However, those behind the plan claim the full story has not been told.

Councillor Herbert Briggs said: “The beacon is not being scrapped.

“We’re waiting for a report from Health and Safety to see if we can light it. We want to take it down and put it somewhere it can be enjoyed by more people.

“It could go on slag banks or even be put on wheels so we can move it round and we could use it for more events."

He continued: “The rails are staying and we want to put a monument on top of a solider with his head bowing to the cenotaph.

"We need to move the beacon and make it safe so we can light it.

“The reason it has gained so much attention is because people don’t know the truth.”