A METALWORKS conservation company commissioned to carry out work on Chepstow’s memorial gun has said suggestions they have carried out a botched job are inaccurate.

Peter Meehan, who runs The Historic Metalwork Conservation Company, was commissioned by Chepstow Town Council with the support of Cadw to carry out much-needed conservation work on the gun, which sits alongside the town’s cenotaph in Beaufort Square.

Residents say children have used the gun as a “climbing frame” since they can remember, and over time it has significantly deteriorated.

Following two years of negotiating, the council came to an agreement with Cadw, who agreed to pay 70 per cent of the £6,700 figure for the work, which has been carried out over the last few weeks.

But resident Gerv Durran, who is experienced in restoring military vehicles, has been joined by others in voicing concerns over the quality of the job.

“They were using wood chisels to scrape the paint off and used mastic to hide butts they had bodged,” he alleged. “The steel they used is a joke and the whole thing will look good for 12 months before it will look worse than it did before.

“I care about this town and many others do as well, and it’s especially upsetting when the gun was gifted to the people of Chepstow – not the council. I wish it had gone to a gun specialist.”


Mr Meehan explained: “The gun had been cleaned and repainted a number of times since its installation in 1922. These coatings had failed and corrosion was occurring to the cast iron and steel parts of the gun causing further paint loss and deterioration to the gun.

"This had been patched up in the past being filled with a variety of materials including tin foil, expanding foam and plaster.

"We removed these covers to allow for treatment and stabilisation to the recoil mechanisms beneath, principally removing rust layers, stabilising the surfaces and providing paint and wax protection.

"The original brass and bronze mechanisms had been painted with a black gloss paint in the past. It was agreed to remove this non-original paint and expose the original metal again as it would have been during use.

"We were very thorough in our treatment of the gun after a lot of research and preparation.

"I am confident that the gun will remain stable and look good for the next four to five years."

A meeting has been scheduled between council officers and the company to discuss the work, but the council says there are no concerns over the job.

A Chepstow council spokeswoman said: “In the last four years the council has taken more of an active role in looking after the gun.

“We came to an agreement with Cadw and commissioned The Historic Metalwork Conservation Company to carry out the work at much lower than the £10,000 suggested.

“We’ve received no complaints about the work done.”