Devil’s Rock To Be Jack Memorial
Blackburn with Darwen Council received universal criticism for not making Jack Walker a freeman of the Borough during his lifetime.
Now the council has decided to create a permanent memorial to the great man in Corporation Park. The site chosen will be Devil’s Rock. Known to generations of children who have skimmed their knees climbing its rockface. The proposed work will come out of the council’s public works of art budget.
Plans have been submitted to carve a Mount Rushmore style commemoration to Blackburn’s most celebrated son of the latter years. Stonemasons have been contacted and suggest this work will take around six months to complete. It was felt Corporation Park was the best site due to regeneration money being available. The park has been plagued by vandalism of late. Councillors believe a major works such as this will help to bring more visitors into the park. This in turn should deter vandals from causing problems.
Councillors have been stung by recent criticism over their policy on honouring the borough’s citizens. Only politicians have been made freemen. Snubbing sporting heroes like Ronnie Clayton, Bryan Douglas and Carl Fogerty has made councillors even more unpopular than usual. Jack Walker’s non-recognition caused particular bad feeling in the borough. Aside from his Rovers involvement, Uncle Jack gave work to many people over the years. Not only through the family steel firm, but through other successful business activities. Many people feel there would never have been a more fitting recipient of the borough’s freedom.
There has also been criticism of the council over its public works of art policy. Some of the creations in Blackburn town centre have received mixed receptions. The grandmother and grandchild statue on the Boulevard seems to be the only one which has proved popular. Even this suffered a vandal attack, the little boy having his arm amputated despite the presence of cctv cameras. Other artefacts have received scathing criticism. The musical note outside King George’s Hall has been likened to an expensive twisted rail. Whereas people have laughed about daleks suddenly appearing from the strange triangles on Church Street.
To make amends the council has decided to create something which will be genuinely popular with its citizens. Suggestions of a council funded memorial to Jack Walker have been put forward previously. These were shelved following the erection of the statue at Ewood Park. This new erection in Corporation Park could prove just as popular.