War memorial rescued from eBay

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Deputy Lord Mayor Gary Millar with Old Swan Councillors Joanne Calvert and Peter Brennen ©TomSouthern

Deputy Lord Mayor Gary Millar with Old Swan Councillors Joanne Calvert and Peter Brennen ©TomSouthern

A bronze war memorial plaque, which was put up for sale on eBay, has been returned to its original home in north Liverpool after campaigners fought to rescue it.

The sale of the war memorial, which holds the names of 29 members of the Liverpool and District meat and allied trades who died either fighting during World War Two or due to air-raids in the city, was brought to the attention of Deputy Lord Mayor Gary Millar two weeks ago.

Councillor Millar tweeted: “Very unhappy that Liverpool’s Stanley Abattoir War Memorial is being auctioned on eBay – where’s the respect?”

This sparked a viral campaign, which was spear-headed by Coun Millar and Tom Southern, to raise funds to purchase the plaque and return it back to its original home in Old Swan.

With an asking price of £600, the campaigners went to both eBay and the seller to ask them to take the listing down as they believed it was a part of the community and should not be sold to just anyone.

The listing was eventually removed from the international auction site and the original seller approached.

Coun Millar told JMU Journalism: “The item should never have been on eBay in the first place – they have a ban on the sale of war memorials.

“It could have been sold to anyone – to someone abroad or to someone who just wanted it for scrap metal.

“We are all behind this – it’s our campaign. Lots of people have been involved, not just myself and Tom. It’s been a real team effort.”

The original seller, who wished not to be identified, bought the plaque for £400 eight years ago from a man who discovered it in a skip after the Stanley Abattoir social club and clock tower were demolished in 1979.

It is believed the plaque was originally on one of these buildings.

The seller approached several relevant organisations, such as The Royal British Legion, asking them to take the plaque off his hands but due to the lack of interest he placed the item on eBay.

The Facebook campaign raised £300 with the remainder of the amount donated anonymously.

Tom Southern told JMU Journalism: “We want the 29 names on the plaque to be remembered and recognised for their sacrifices.

“It’s disgraceful that people make a profit off the back of selling war memorials.”

Now that the war memorial has been rescued and returned to the people of Old Swan, Deputy Lord Mayor Millar has asked his constituency what they wish to do with it.

About Alice Kirkland, JMU Journalism