Memorial is getting closer

Mission: Nikki Davidson-Kerr
Mission: Nikki Davidson-Kerr

A woman tasked with creating a new memorial to Chorley’s fallen war heroes says the ambitious project is gathering pace.

It’s now six months since Nikki Davidson-Kerr, 33, from Astley Village, was appointed as the full-time project manager for the new ‘Chorley Remembers’ project.

The planned memorial will honour soldiers who died in the First and Second World War for the first time by adding their names to the cenotaph in Astley Park.

Nikki admitted that her first months at Chorley Remembers have been ‘a steep learning curve’ and something of a personal quest.

She said: “It has been very insightful, and prompted me to look at my own relatives. My grandfather served in WW2, but his brother also served and was killed.

“I looked him up and found where he was remembered. His body was never found, but he is remembered on the RAF Memorial down south.”

She added: “I’ve worked on community projects, mostly concerning the environment. Learning the historical and research side has been very interesting.”

Nikki studied environmental science at the University of Salford before getting a PGCE from UCLan. After working for the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, returning to her home community in Chorley appealed.

She said: “I thought a local project would be very interesting. I did community-based projects in Bolton for the Wildlife Trust, and thought it would be nice to do something similar in my own local community.

“Going out talking to people and getting feedback is similar, though the subject is different.”

Interacting with the public is at the heart of Nikki’s future plans.

“The most exciting parts for me are the initial designs for the cenotaph and the Memorial Room,” she said. “We are making sure we get it right.

“The next part will be writing the educational and interpretation material. It’s very exciting for me to put all this learning I’ve been doing to use.

“UItimately I want to do an educational pack for local schools.”

Nikki is based from the Chorley Building Society head office in Chorley, developing the Heritage Lottery-funded project with a remembrance theme.