Plaque to the future for force veterans

Ron Phelan (centre right) and Ian Mercer of Stone Central (centre left) with colleagues, Councillor Joe Pearson (behind Ron Phelan) Royal Artillery Association members, council officers, staff from Jamm Studios and other people involved in the restoration project.
Ron Phelan (centre right) and Ian Mercer of Stone Central (centre left) with colleagues, Councillor Joe Pearson (behind Ron Phelan) Royal Artillery Association members, council officers, staff from Jamm Studios and other people involved in the restoration project.
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A STONE plaque marking the meeting place of thousands of Territorial Army soldiers from St Helens has been restored to its former glory ... thanks to a German product.

TA veteran Ron Phelan and his comrades had been dismayed to discover that the landmark plaque - on the corner of Mill Street and Volunteer Street - had been splashed with white paint.

But specialist paint manufacturer Keim Mineral Plants stepped in to solve the problem free of charge after being alerted by local stonemasons Stone Central (NW) Ltd.

Ron said: “We were really concerned when we saw what had happened. So we approached Jamm Music Studios, the current owners of the building and asked if we could renovate the sign.

“It’s a brilliant outcome. Stone Central and Keim did us proud and the plaque now looks as good as the day it was installed.”

The plaque denotes the building as the original base of the 5th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales Volunteers).

After the TA moved to their new premises on Prescot Road it became the Navy Club and later the Flagship pub.

For years the plaque was covered by a pub sign. Only when it was removed earlier this year did the extent of the damage become clear.

The Royal Artillery Association was eager to restore the plaque in readiness for the 100th anniversary of the First World War deployment of the South Lancashire Regiment - on St Valentine’s Day, February 1915.

Coun Joe Pearson said: “This was a great example of the spirit of the Armed Forces Community Covenant, which calls upon St Helens people to support our current and former Armed Forces Community members.”