Ulverston Monument keeper hailed after reaching landmark
Last updated at 17:49, Wednesday, 10 October 2012
ONE man’s dedication to a Furness landmark has attracted admiration and thanks for his years of hard work.
Ken Barrett, 62, has looked after the Sir John Barrow Monument for over 20 years and is its longest serving keeper.
And the former Glaxo worker has overseen plenty of changes in the last two decades.
He took over the role in 1992 after the monument had been closed for three years while it was being renovated.
Mr Barrett, who lives in Poplar Grove, Ulverston, said: “I put in for it because I live quite close. It is one of the first things I see when I open my curtains.
“I am putting something back into the town – it is an unpaid job but it’s interesting.”
He said interest in the monument was high when he first took over, due to the refurbishment, but while it has since tailed off the site still receives a healthy number of visitors.
And despite no longer charging people to climb the tower’s 112 steps, the Friends of the Sir John Barrow Monument are actually making more money from charitable donations.
Mr Barrett said: “We have raised about £3,500 in two years.”
Since he took over, Mr Barrett has gone from being the only person tasked with looking after the monument to being part of a dozen-strong team of volunteers.
But he added: “The biggest change we have seen is the actual monument itself because it has been painted a lighter colour and now it stands out more – I think it has been worth it.”
Ulverston town clerk David Parratt said: “Ken has been a fantastic monument keeper. He is always very willing to get involved in all kinds of things.
“He has been a great support, not only as a keeper but during the restoration phase.”
Ulverston mayor Brenda Marr said: “Ken is a stalwart of the monument and I don’t think it would function as the attraction that it is without him.”
She said he once even opened the monument to two amateur photographers during the Lantern Festival so they could get pictures of the procession from a different angle.
She added: “If it wasn’t for Ken doing the job he does, it would not have taken off as much as it has.”
First published at 16:25, Tuesday, 09 October 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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Well done Ken-keep it up. you are a star.you must be very happy with whatYOU have done to keep hoad going hats off to you.