AN Aberystwyth businessman is to pay out of his own pocket to ensure Aberystwyth’s war memorial is illuminated for Remembrance Day.
Veteran John Davies is to pay for a lighting and public address system this year following the announcement that Ceredigion County Council could not afford to fix the lighting at Castle Point, where the town’s war memorial stands.
In previous years, the memorial, which marks its centenary this year, has been illuminated in red around the time of Remembrance Sunday.
Following the news that this would not be the case this year due to the state of disrepair the lighting system is in, Mr Davies decided he would step in and foot the bill.
With the help of other businesses in Aberystwyth, a lighting system with a generator and a public address system will be installed temporarily to illuminate the monument, provide greater clarity for those who attend the service and to play wartime songs during the weekend.
Mr Davies, who was a solider with the Royal Welsh and served a tour in Afghanistan, said: “When I read that the memorial wouldn’t be lit up this year, I felt that I needed to step in. The PA system is being brought in because I can remember being a previous services and not being able to hear the speeches.
“Following the service, the system will play songs from World War I and II. Hopefully the sounds will travel along the promenade and attract people to the memorial.
“I am stepping in this year but hopefully the council will be able to find the £30,000 I am told it will cost to repair the lighting for future years.”
Armed Forces champion in Ceredigion, Cllr Paul Hinge, said: “I would like to thank John Davies for stepping into the breach and funding the temporary lighting and speaker system for this year’s Remembrance service. Given the difficult position we are in with the repairs to the lighting, I am more than happy with this very generous offer.
“We will now look to how the lighting can be repaired or reviewed in the future.”
Following the announcement by Ceredigion County Council that the lights needed repair, the public authority said it is ‘committed to supporting all local events by illuminating key buildings’, adding: “In the meantime, we will continue to light Canolfan Alun R Edwards and the Bandstand in Aberystwyth for the launch of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and Remembrance Day.”
The monument will be illuminated for five days in total, with help from Bryan Wilkins of BDW Consultants; Chris Wilkins of CVW Property Management, Joe Wilcox of Light em Up; and John Davies of Superior Finish Decorating.