A memorial dedicated to an RAF hero was found dumped in a skip outside a former Royal British Legion club, sparking outrage from locals.
The memorial to Flight Lieutenant Ronald Crook was found discarded and abandoned outside the now-closed club in Kings Heath.
The building was shut down in September and sold at auction in December for £415,000 – more than double the £200k guide price.
Hannah Lane with the plaque that was once in the now closed down Royal British Legion Club (Picture: BPM Media)The new owner has set about removing the interiors from the Station Road club, before conversion work gets underway on the building.
But Hannah Lane – who works at nearby Robert Oulsnam estate agents – spoke of her ‘horror and sadness’ after spotting the plaque dumped in a skip.
She retrieved the memorial, which reads: ‘In memory of F/LT Ronald Crook, project originator of the Battle of Britain Tapestry.
‘And for his generous bequest to the Kings Heath branch of the Royal British Legion, August 1993.’
Hannah said she has notified the RAF Museum of her find.
The plaque that was once in the now closed down Royal British Legion Club, Kings Heath has been found in a skip outside the former club (Picture: BPM Media)‘I was on my way to work and saw the plaque sticking out of the skip,’ she told BirminghamLive.
‘The club has been bought by an investor who is gutting it at the moment, but I was horrified and sad to see the memorial dumped in the skip outside.
‘I couldn’t see any more memorials but there were a lot of poppies also thrown into the skip.
‘It’s disrespectful – this will mean something to someone.’
The new owner has set about removing the interiors from the Station Road club (Picture: BPM Media)Hannah posted an image of the retrieved memorial on Facebook, where her thoughts were echoed by Kings Heath residents.
One woman branded it ‘disgusting’.
The club is understood to have attempted to contact ‘as many people as possible’ to collect memorabilia, but some could not be found.
Burglar jailed for 300 raids after someone took photo of him ‘acting suspiciously’A spokeswoman for the Royal British Legion refused to comment on the incident, but said the clearance of buildings is usually the responsibility of the club members.
The developer – a local man who asked not to be named, told BirminghamLive: ‘The property was empty for months before it was auctioned off.
‘I was surprised at the state of it when I looked inside.
‘There were boxes and boxes packed inside, as well as clothing – even alcohol had been left in there.
Hannah Lane spoke of her ‘horror and sadness’ (Picture: BPM Media)‘We gave away everything we could and the building is now being cleaned and emptied, ready for work to be carried out.
‘We are not looking to upset anyone, but the building was left empty for months before it was auctioned and everything could have been removed beforehand.’
F/LT Crook was the brains behind the Battle of Britain Tapestry, replicating the window in Westminster Abbey.
He thought up the idea for the tapestry while he was a patient at the RAF Hospital, Halton, immediately after the Second World War.
In 1997, the Queen Mother gave the tapestry, for safekeeping, to the Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Building at the former Battle of Britain airfield in Manston, Kent.