News comment: Decision over Yomper statue must be taken very carefully

There's no getting away from the fact there is a lot of admiration and support for the iconic Yomper statue, which stands proudly on the seafront at Eastney.

Monday, 6th June 2016, 6:05 am

It’s a powerful reminder of the sacrifices that were made during the Falklands conflict and the fact that marines trained and lived close by at the former Eastney Barracks.

To many it’s a key part of Eastney and Portsmouth’s military history, which should always be commemorated.

The Royal Marines Museum is considering taking the Yomper statue with it when it eventually moves into Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, standing side by side with other world-famous attractions in 2019.

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On the one hand, we can understand the reasoning behind museum officials wanting to take the Yomper with them.

The prospect of many thousands more visitors seeing the statue must be in their thinking. After all, it’s a key part of the museum.

But we also recognise that the local community believe it is only right that the Yomper stays.

To many, it’s more than simply a statue.

And that’s clear from reading today’s story on pages one and five about the proposal to move it.

One resident speaks of how her grandchild has grown incredibly fond of the memorial.

It’s certainly encouraging to see that today’s youth are taking such an interest.

That’s why it’s important that the public are included in discussions going forward over the plans, and a public consultation would be a good idea.

That way, the museum will be made aware of, and can address, any concerns.

We hope that a compromise can somehow be reached.

But it’s encouraging to see that there are many people who clearly haven’t forgotten those who fought in the Falkands – and who are represented today by the silent presence of the Yomper.