RESTORATION of a crumbling war memorial has moved one step closer thanks to a generous donation from a Colchester School.

Paxman Academy, in Shrub End, Colchester, handed over a £500 cheque to Kevin Starling last week as part of their support for the repairing of the Shrub End war memorial, which has the names of 17 soldiers who gave their lives serving their country in the First World War.

Mr Starling, 67, took it upon himself back in 2016 to start work on repairing the memorial in Shrub End Road, with the first steps involving finding out who in fact is responsible for the Grade II listed structure.

After St Cedd’s Church came on board and accepted responsibility for the monument, work has since involved generating the necessary funds to go towards either repairing or replacing the memorial.

A structural survey has been conducted by the War Memorials Trust to the tune of £1,000 and attention is now turning towards what will be the best course of action for the future of structure – repairing it or replacing it.

Mr Starling said: “As each step comes closer, we have a clearer view of where we are going.

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At the moment, we have three options – it's repaired on site, it’s taken off site before being taken to bits and repaired, or we replace large sections of it.”

The range of costs for three options runs from £12,000 to £20,000.

Mr Starling added: "The cheapest option is to repair it, and the dearest is to repair it off site, but until we know where we are, we can’t say how much we need.”

Mr Starling has raised about £4,000 in total so far, and he is planning to apply for a grant from the War Memorials Trust which normally subsidise half of the total costs.

“The support from the community has been outstanding.

"St Cedd’s runs a community café on the second and fourth Mondays of the month and sell bits and pieces to raise money for it – everyone has been pulling together to keep the money flowing in."

Anybody interested in getting involved with the project can contact Kevin Starling on 07488 371 053.