Plea for Portsmouth not to forget about the campaign to save the Yomper
A FRESH rallying cry has gone out to the people of Portsmouth to back a community campaign to keep the Yomper statue in Eastney.
The Royal Marines Museum has been considering a plan to take the Falklands memorial with it once the venue moves to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in 2019.
It is a move which has outraged thousands of people from across the city.
Campaigners say the proud tribute must stay as it’s a reminder of the area where marines trained – and the sacrifices made by so many.
Now organisers behind the bid to keep the iconic monument on the city’s seafront are calling on residents to keep up the momentum of the community drive.
Phil Saunders, who is running the effort, is concerned city residents are forgetting about the campaign.
The Marine Gate resident stressed: ‘The Keep the Yomper In Eastney campaign is still active.’
More than 3,200 people have so far backed the petition.
Tory council boss Donna Jones said it was vital to keep the Yomper in Eastney and explained the city’s councillors shared a united front on the issue.
She added: ‘The Yomper has been there for a number of years.
‘It signifies one of Britain’s modern-day military victories and is an incredibly poignant monument to the Falklands battle.
‘There are a number of stakeholders who are very interested in the Yomper’s future, in particular the community who want to see it remain in its current location on the seafront; the residents who live in the former Royal Marine barracks, veterans and families of Falklands veterans and the people who use the coastal promenade all want it to remain there.
‘I have written to the National Museum of the Royal Navy and to the chief operating officer of the Royal Marines Museum calling on them to keep the Yomper where it is.
‘I remain hopeful that a satisfactory conclusion can be reached.’
John Rawlinson, director of visitor experience at the National Museum of the Royal Navy has previous said the consultation on the Yomper was still its infancy and that no decision about the statue had been made.
The consultation is available to sign by visiting www.royalmarinesmuseum.co.uk/yomper and will continue until early 2017.