FOR years it has served as a poignant reminder of the sacrifice they gave for their country.

But the names of those fallen heroes will fade into obscurity unless a weather-battered war memorial is given a costly makeover.

The memorial, in the Loco Works estate, off Chorley New Road, Horwich, has become so badly weathered that some of the names are in danger of becoming unreadable.

Names are engraved on all four sides of the stone memorial, but the east side is the worst affected.

Now Horwich Town Council, which is responsible for the memorial, is considering a number of different solutions, which could cost up to £9,000.

Suggestions by stonemasons include recutting and re-inking the names, covering them with protective resin, sanding off all the names and recutting them, moving all the names to just three sides or fixing replacement stone slabs.

Cllr Barbara Ronson said: “We have had a number of people contact us to say how difficult it is to read the names and at Remembrance weekend it brought it all to a head.

“It’s quite a sensitive matter and we have to be careful to make sure we don’t do more damage.

“But I’m looking forward to restoring the names and I hope that by this time next year we’ll be very proud of what we’ve done.” Councillors have agreed at a meeting that no alteration to the appearance of the memorial will take place without public consultation.

The memorial was originally funded by a subscription from employees at the Loco Works and it contains the names of all the workers who died during the First World War.

The memorial was given to the town council by Parkfield Castings when the company left the site.

In 1987, the memorial was renovated with the help of members of the Horwich Air Training Corps.

A grant to cover the cost of the work may be available from the War Memorials Trust and the trust will discuss this option at its next meeting on November 19.

The town council will consider the matter further at a committee meeting, which is open to the public, at 7.30pm on Monday, December 7.

Cllr Frank White, president of the Bolton United Services Veterans’ Association, said: “The communities who paid for these memorials fulfilled the promise ‘we will remember them’ and it is important to retain the respect they showed.

“Bolton has a very good track record when it comes to restoring memorials and that has to be applauded.”