Monday, 21 August 2017

'Disgraceful' memorial to benefactor repaired for £800

A MEMORIAL to Sir Frank Crisp, one of Henley’s biggest benefactors, has been restored, writes Janine Rasiah.

A MEMORIAL to Sir Frank Crisp, one of Henley’s biggest benefactors, has been restored, writes Janine Rasiah.

The town council spent £800 on the repair of the marble pillar at Fair Mile cemetery.

The work was carried out by stonemasons E T Sheppard, of Reading Road, Henley. Concrete bearers were used to lift up each side of the memorial to stop it from sinking. It was then re-pointed and cleaned while avoiding damage to the lead lettering.

The memorial had been cracked and was described earlier this year as “a disgrace” by town councillor Elizabeth Hodgkin.

She said she was “delighted” with the restoration work, which was praised by judges for the Britain in Bloom competition during a tour of Henley last week.

Cllr Hodgkin said: “I think it is excellent that the town council paid for the work and I hope residents agree. We should never allow a monument to such a great benefactor to the town to fall into disrepair.

“He was an incredible man and when he died the whole town came to a standstill for the funeral because he was so well thought of and did such a lot for the town.

“When we have someone like that who is part of our history we should keep them in our mind’s eye always.” When the council agreed to pay for the work, Councillor Ian Reissman said: “This is part of our heritage and in general that is something we should be careful to conserve, but spending almost £1,000 of taxpayers’ money on mending what was a private memorial is something we should think carefully about.”

Sir Frank, a solicitor, commissioned Friar Park and made several major donations to the town, including a marble pulpit to St Mary’s Church and a clock tower at Christ Church as well as paving and drainage improvements in Gravel Hill and West Street. He was a member of the Linnean Society, a forerunner of the Royal Horticultural Society, which organises the Britain in Bloom competition, and was awarded the Royal Victorian Medal of honour.

Sir Frank, who regularly gave to charities, was given the honorary freedom of the borough by the town council in 1917, two years before his death.

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