On track to restore Noel's memorial

PUBLISHED: 11:44 09 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:37 06 May 2010

Molly Lincoln at the memorial garden

Molly Lincoln at the memorial garden

A MEMORIAL garden that has become an eyesore could be moved following complaints. The memorial is at the entrance to Sandy Railway Station in memory of former station master Noel Cotman. Mr Cotman, a bachelor who lived in Beeston, died 17 years ago aged j

A MEMORIAL garden that has become an eyesore could be moved following complaints.

The memorial is at the entrance to Sandy Railway Station in memory of former station master Noel Cotman.

Mr Cotman, a bachelor who lived in Beeston, died 17 years ago aged just 58. He was the stationmaster for 20 years.

A memorial plaque put on a wall at the back of the garden is now obscured by weeds.

In an attempt to get the garden either restored or moved Sandy resident Ken Lynch has approached the Sandy Enhancement Group to ask for their help. He is being backed by a close friend of Mr Cotman, Molly Lincoln, 73, of Northcroft in the town.

Mr Cotman lodged with Mrs Lincoln's grandmother in Beeston for many years.

"I still talk to his sister at her home in Skegness every Sunday on the phone," said Mrs Lincoln, who was one of the original supporters of the memorial garden.

"He was a wonderful man who had so many friends. It is a great shame the garden has been allowed to get in its current state.

"Noel came here in the 1960s from his hometown of Skegness and was good to a lot of people. He loved his trains and the people who travelled on them.

"He was a very big man and quite a character. He was even known to give people a lift home in his car if they arrived late at night and got stuck at the station.

"I have been down there and the garden is a mess. The plaque is somewhere at the back behind the weeds and shrubbery on the wall. Only a few people know it is there."

Now the complaints and feelings of a lot of people who knew Mr Cotman have reached the ears of the enhancement group and action could soon restore his memorial plaque to a more prominent area of the station.

The group met last night and on their agenda was the possibility of moving it to a corner of the car park and having the plaque attached to an old railway sleeper.

"The current memorial garden has fallen by the wayside," said Sandy town councillor Nigel Aldis who is a member of the group.

"Hopefully we can agree to move it to the end of the station car park and build a garden that is low maintenance and fittingly put the plaque on a railway sleeper.

"I remember Noel well. He was a great personality and should be remembered with a new memorial.

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