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Oldham War Memorial – Plaques

The dead of the 1914 - 1918 war are remembered both on the wall plaques on the churchyard wall and in the Book of Memory within the granite plinth of the Toft memorial Sculpture. The bronze plaques were in need of cleaning, some re-patiantion and waxing. Because of concerns regarding attempted theft the client also requested that exact moulds and patterns were made of each plaque. The plaques were carefully removed from the yellow sandstone walls, enabling re-pointing and in one corner the re-positioning of the stones. All plaques were transported to our extensive workshops in Telford to be treated and used as patterns for moulds.

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The first part of the process required total removal of all old wax and lacquer and a thorough steam clean to enable crisp and clean moulds to be made.  These silicone moulds were then reinforced to keep the gentle curve prior to being stored ready to return to the clients.  Following this the uneven colour of the placques was ameliorated by chemical over patination prior to an initial coat of hot wax before returning to site and further hot waxing.  Where attempts had been made in the past to remove the placques from the wall secure fixings were put in. There are shields on the joints between the placques.. One in particular had been ‘attacked’ with some sort of rotary steel brush removing any original patination or surface. This we gently cleaned and evened out before patinating to the same colour as the others. Below the main plaques are smaller ones commemorating the fallen of subsequent conflicts.  These too were removed to our workshops for cleaning, conservation, re-patinating and waxing before being returned to site and re-instating.  The bronze doors opening into the room holding the Book of Memory were also treated in a similar fashion.

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