Cannon carving salutes Kettering street's history

The cannon was carved from the historic trees which were felled. Pictures by Alison Bagley.
The cannon was carved from the historic trees which were felled. Pictures by Alison Bagley.

A carved cannon has been installed in a Kettering street as a nod to the First World War heroes who lived there.

There was fury 11 months ago when cedar trees in Legion Crescent, which had replaced captured German guns in 1930, were chopped down without notice just weeks before the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.

One resident was left in tears and Kettering Council said they were removed for safety reasons - but apologised and promised to create a feature to reflect the area's historic importance.

And on Wednesday (September 18) the feature - carved from the felled trees - was unveiled alongside Union Jack flowerbeds.

Peter Kirk, who lives in Legion Crescent, said: "The residents feel the cannon now placed on the green, carved from the fallen tree, demonstrates that Kettering Council's commitment back to its community is indeed first class so we congratulate [council officer] Brendan Coleman and his team.

"And with flowers of the Union Jack in place and with more trees expected to be planted, all of which Kettering Council have committed to maintain, we have here a gateway into Kettering which is both pleasant on the eye and one which stimulates debate from passersby."

In the 1920s the land off Rothwell Road, next to Kettering General Hospital, was donated by the Duke of Buccleuch and 12 houses were built for First World War veterans.

Following the end of the war two captured German field guns were displayed there alongside a battle-scarred tank.

The tank was eventually broken up for scrap and the guns re-located, with the space replaced by the two cedar trees which were later felled.

Cllr Ian Jelley, Kettering Council’s portfolio holder for environment, said: “This new installation along with the plans for new flower beds and trees will help brighten up the approach into the town.

"The gun carving recognises the history of the homes in Legion Crescent and their association with veterans of the First World War in Kettering.”

Kettering Council will soon be planting more trees to improve the gateway entrance into the town.

Brendan Coleman, head of environmental care at Kettering Council, said: “It’s fitting to be able to use the original cedar trees for this wood carving and continue their association with Legion Crescent.

"The addition of new flower beds and trees will also help improve this key entrance into Kettering.”