In the Spring of 1999, Macclesfield King’s School’s former pupils’ association embarked on a long-cherished project … the restoration of its old fiction library/cricket pavilion.
The newspaper for pupils and parents reported: ‘The Association built the pavilion in the 1930s as a lasting tribute and memorial to those old boys who sacrificed their lives in the First World War. Once the work is completed the school will have a modern pavilion which can also be used as a classroom, study and meeting room. It will also once again be a fitting memorial.’
Fast forward to Spring 2019 … following criticism of plans to demolish the memorial pavilion for housing on Cumberland Street, head Dr Simon Hyde said: ‘The future of the pavilion must be seen in this context: … to commemorate the fallen by providing a facility of practical use by dedicating a new modern facility at the new campus ….’. He said taking the stone lintel carved ‘In Memoriam 1914-18’ to the new campus for incorporation into their future cricket/sports pavilion which would be dedicated to the fallen was arguably the best way to honour the school’s heritage.
And now, following meetings of concerned residents and Hillcrest Homes to consider options e.g. creating a heritage bungalow on the site (it is in good condition), we learn the pavilion’s fate is sealed because ‘the costs of relocation are prohibitive, and the current building is inadequate to the future needs of the school’.
It is not only disrespectful, but disingenuous to mention costs, when the cost of the whole scheme is £60m+! And the latest offer of a public memorial garden (in a different corner of the site because the memorial is in the way of lucrative new housing, none classed as affordable) scant compensation for what is being lost!
As far as the School goes, I am pleased it is dedicating a building at its new campus, but would expect nothing less! What is unacceptable though is its loud boast about heritage whilst cherry picking the bits it wants from its long history in the town.
Ed: The school and developers explain their view in this joint letter on the Council’s planning portal.