A MEMORIAL that commemorates the lives of local people who have died in conflicts has been refurbished and celebrated thanks to the community in Astley.

After a fire at St Stephens Church on Church Road, Astley, in 1961, there was no memorial that remembered all of the fallen for decades.

The fallen includes 72 Astley men who died during the First and Second World Wars, with the Astley Lions Scout Troop carrying out research on their lives in the community.

With the help of local people, including councillors Christine Roberts, Barry Taylor, Paula Wakefield, and vicar Reverend Martin Cox, a memorial was installed on a green space on Manchester Road, next to the Bulls Head pub in 2019.

Leigh Journal: The refurbishment was supported by Snap Fitness gym in Mosley CommonThe refurbishment was supported by Snap Fitness gym in Mosley Common (Image: Friends of Astley War Memorial)

A local blacksmith designed and constructed the sculpture, which showcases 72 cascading poppies to represent the lives of the 72 men, but the steelwork had begun to rust and was in urgent need of refurbishment.

With help from the community, the redesign was supported by the Snap Fitness gym in Mosley Common, and the new-look memorial was re-installed last month, just a day before the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

Following the news of the Queen's death, Michelle Lewthwaite, Secretary of the Friends of Astley Memorial, said that the memorial quickly came a focal point for local people to pay their respects.

For days afterward, people from across the community came to the Manchester Road memorial to lay flowers and tributes for the Queen.

Leigh Journal: The memorial on Manchester Road, AstleyThe memorial on Manchester Road, Astley (Image: Google)

Initially, the decision made to revamp the war memorial was so that it was in place for Remembrance Day next month.

Now re-installed, the memorial is a poignant place where residents can remember those lost in conflicts, including the 72 men who would have been such a loss in the small community during the world wars.

There will be a short Act of Remembrance at the memorial on Sunday, November 13 at 12.30pm.