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Memorial to teenage Burnley hero will be restored
A MEMORIAL to a teenager who sacrificed his life while trying to save a drowning youngster is to finally be restored to its former glory, it was announced today.
David Dixon, 15, died while trying to rescue Harry Hartley, nine, who had slipped underneath the ice at the frozen Pheasantford Reservoir.
Two other boys, John Moore and Harry Tattersall, survived the January 1899 tragedy but David and Harry perished.
A cast iron water feature was erected by public subscription and stands on what is now park land off Ennismore Street but has fallen into disrepair.
Last year, calls were made for the memorial to be restored after claims it was being used as a “public ashtray”.
Today, Burnley Council announced Rossendale-based business Lancashire Soda Blast has offered to restore the rusting 113-year-old tribute for free.
The work, which is due to start in the coming months, will see the fountain blasted and repainted, and stolen fibre glass mouldings are expected to be replaced.
Burnley Council has also agreed to put in new flagging around the fountain.
Former mayor Coun John Harbour, who pledged an investigation into the restoration last year, said: “It is great news that the work will be done on the fountain, especially for people who live near it as it is in a sorry state at the moment.
“It is also important to the descendants of David Dixon and Harry Hartley as it is a reminder of David’s bravery.
“We are very grateful to the private sector for coming forward and offering to help. Without their generosity it would not be happening.”
No-one from Lancashire Soda Blast was available for comment.
The issue of restoring the memorial was raised by John Rowe, of Tennis Street, at a Burnley Council meeting last year.
He said: “It should be restored as a mark of respect. It is currently used as a receptacle for fag ends.”
David Dixon, of Devonshire Road, and Harry Hartley, of Cleaver Street, who both attended the Ebenezer Baptist Sunday School, were buried in Haggate Cemetery.