Issued on 6/11/18 at 2:13 p.m.
A commemorative board to honour fallen Leicestershire police officers has been lovingly restored in preparation for the centenary of the First World War.
The force’s security manager Adrian Simpson was approached to do the work by Benevolent Fund Administrator Dominique Allen as she was aware of his keen interest in wood restoration and knew he would do an excellent job.
It's thought the board, which is now situated in Mansfield House Police Station in Belgrave Gate, was created in the 1950s. It has now been restored ready for the Centenary memorial event taking place on Friday 9 November at headquarters.
Adrian immediately understood the importance of the restoration. It was a process that took over five hours per day for several days in his own time following his busy shifts.
The first part of the process was to remove all the layers of old varnish. So many layers had been painted on over the years that the lettering on the left-hand side was nearly obliterated. There had been so much varnish added it was almost impossible to identify what type of wood the sign was actually made of.
Adrian then hand sanded the whole board and used a Dremel tool to re-carve out all of the intricate lettering. He describes this as the most time consuming part of the process because going too deep would have irrevocably damaged the wood. However, he had to make sure the lettering was once again visible. After this stage was complete it was treated with five layers of beeswax – each one applied by hand.
The repainting of the former Leicester City Police crest was the final thing to be completed, therefore the colour match needed to be exact so Adrian mixed all of the paint himself.
He was understandably quite nervous when it came to painting it because it had to be so precise. There wasn’t a brush fine enough to paint the gold crowns so he resorted to using a cotton wool bud for exactness.
Chief Constable Simon Cole said: “I can’t thank Adrian enough for completing this restoration project so brilliantly and so quickly too. He’s done a truly wonderful job.
“It is important for us to remember that these officers gave up their lives and this restoration project is an opportunity to demonstrate our respect and thanks.”
Adrian said that it was “Well worth the effort to restore the board and honour those who had fallen.”
Dominique added: “Adrian has done superb work and I believe that it’s right and proper that the sacrifice made by these men is remembered for a long time to come.”