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Historic Memorial Meticulously Restored at St Mary’s Churchyard

April 18th, 2024
Historic Memorial Meticulously Restored at St Mary’s Churchyard

In a touching tribute to local history, the memorial of Austin Partner, a noted stockbroker from Tolworth who tragically lost his life in a maritime disaster in 1912, has been carefully cleaned by the skilled memorial masons of Lodge Brothers. This significant preservation effort took place at St. Mary’s Churchyard in Long Ditton, Surrey, where Partner is interred.
Lodge Brothers were approached by Reverend Kuhan of St Mary’s Long Ditton to contribute to raising funds for cleaning the memorial, however, Lodge Brothers went one better and offered to clean the memorial as their donation to the project as they had the necessary resources in terms of machinery and talented masons.
Austin Partner was a prominent figure in the financial world, specializing in the Canadian market. Just days before his untimely death, he had embarked on a new venture with Myer and Robertson and was enroute to Canada to work with the affiliated firm, Robinson & Black. His journey was cut short by the disaster, but he was quickly identified thanks to documents found on him. Remarkably, his remains were returned to his local community for burial in just over five weeks, a testament to the efforts made during that era.
The memorial, crafted from exquisite white Italian marble from Carrara and rugged granite likely sourced from Cornwall, stands as a lasting symbol of his legacy. The granite and marble panels, featuring hand-carved inscriptions in relief, have withstood the test of time, maintaining their clarity and legibility. The recent cleaning of the memorial was conducted using a DOFF machine, a low pressure hot steam cleaning tool. This method is particularly gentle on historic surfaces and is endorsed by English Heritage. By using steam instead of harsh pressure, the cleaning process ensures that both the texture and integrity of the stone are preserved, allowing future generations to appreciate this piece of local heritage.
This restoration not only honours Austin Partner’s memory but also reflects Lodge Brothers’ commitment to the community and preserving its historical landmarks.
In the photo is:
Victoria Kibble – Senior District Manager – Lodge Brothers
Chris Lodge – Director – Lodge Brothers
Reverend Kuhan Satkunanayagam – St. Mary’s Long Ditton
Reverend Alison Baverstock – St. Mary’s Long Ditton