Club memorial finds a new home

SPECIAL TRIBUTE: Dewsbury Moor vicar the Rev Kathy Robertson and Tony Murphy in St John's parish church, where the memorial board from Hollins WMC has now found a lasting home. (d05031104)
SPECIAL TRIBUTE: Dewsbury Moor vicar the Rev Kathy Robertson and Tony Murphy in St John's parish church, where the memorial board from Hollins WMC has now found a lasting home. (d05031104)

A PERMANENT place has been found for a homeless war tribute in Dewsbury Moor.

When the Hollins WMC closed two years ago, its memorial to members who had died in both world wars had nowhere to go.

But long-standing member Tony Murphy kept it safe and it now has pride of place in the parish church of St John’s, which has just this weekend celebrated a milestone revamp.

Mr Murphy, a Hollins member for 30 years, said: “I didn’t want the board to just go in the skip. So I saved it in my garage.”

He then asked the Rev Kathy Robertson if it could go in the church and she agreed.

“The memorial lists the names of members who died in the two world wars and there are still relatives of those people living in and around Dewsbury Moor.”

“It is important we keep this as a record of their sacrifice.”

Mrs Robertson said: “The board will be on permanent display. It will have pride of place in St John’s as part of the next phase of our project to improve the church.”

The Hollins club – which was based in a large old family house – closed two years ago amid falling membership and Mr Murphy says nothing has taken its place, with many former members now going to Westborough WMC.

“It was sad when it closed as it was a really good club,” he said. “I was a member for 30 years. I remember the role it played in the community.”

Scores of visitors turned up for the special celebration weekend at St John’s. Three days of activities were laid on to mark completion of the first phase of a scheme to upgrade the church.

Mrs Robertson said: “The weekend went really well. Lots of people came who had long connections with the church.”

Dr Graham Hardy gave a talk on the first 30 years in St John’s life and author Christine Leveridge – who spoke about Dewsbury through old postcards – gave proceeds of sales of her book to the next phase of the building programme.

Along with other improvements, the church interior has been revamped to make it more useful as a community venue. But a tougher round of fund-raising lies ahead with £200,000 needed for more structural alterations. “The hard part is yet to come,” said Mrs Robertson. “This is just the start of a long journey.”

To get the next round under way, St John’s has planned a fashion show and summer fair.