Summerland fire memorial plan

Kaye Memorial Garden at the bottom of Summerhill Road in Douglas could be the site of a  Summerland Fire Memorial

Kaye Memorial Garden at the bottom of Summerhill Road in Douglas could be the site of a Summerland Fire Memorial

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A new memorial in tribute to those who lost their lives in the Summerland fire could be installed if planners approve Douglas Council’s bid.

Their bid (13/00458/B) comes in the 40th anniversary year of the tragedy.

Douglas Council have applied for a three-column memorial in the Kaye Memorial Gardens, at the bottom of Summer Hill.

The Douglas Council-owned site is designated as public open space.

In the application it says the memorial would have three columns, and would be made from granite ‘or a similar natural stone’.

It would be situated in the central shrub border of the gardens.

The memorial would be no taller than two metres in height, and each column would be no bigger than 40cm wide by 40cm deep.

All three columns would be surrounded within a three-metre diameter granite setts paving platform, or similar natural stone.

The garden, which houses memorial stones from the Summerland fire, was built at the northern end of the promenades, near the bottom of Summer Hill, in the 1950s using money bequeathed by S. J. Kaye in memory of his parents and grandparents. The bequest to the council comprised two farms, three cottages and 112 acres of land at Cooil.

The property was sold to the sitting tenants in 1954 and some of the £6,800 proceeds were used to create the memorial garden.

At least 50 people were killed in the Summerland tragedy, which happened on August 2, 1973. The fire, sparked by three boys illicitly smoking, destroyed the Douglas holiday complex within minutes.

When the fire broke out, the seven-storey building was crammed with about 3,000 people..

Summerland had been open for little over two years before it was destroyed.

It was later rebuilt to a different design and re-opened. It shut for good in 2005.

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