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Grandson to erect memorial gates in honour of Woodland stalwart

TRIBUTE: Joseph and Anne Rutter soon after they announced their retirement from running the Post Office at Woodland

A WOODLAND parish councillor plans to put up memorial gates in tribute to a grandfather he scarcely knew.
Alastair Rutter’s grandfather Joseph died when he was only a baby but he now wants to put up a memorial to the former post master because of the great work he did for the village.
In his time, Joseph Rutter spent 28 years as chairman of the village parish council helping to bring electricity to the village, obtained the land for the primary school and helped bring 30 new houses to area.
Mr Rutter said: “I was about one year old when he passed away. I never really got to know him. It is what I have been told by people about what he did for the village.”
He also learned a lot about his grandfather from old copies of the Teesdale Mercury as well as election posters from when his grandfather stood for election onto Teesdale District Council.
Sadly boundary changes split the village in half and Mr Rutter failed to get enough votes in the poll.    
Although his grandfather lived at Glencoe House where he ran the post office from 1942 until 1977, Mr Rutter plans to erect the memorial gates at his own home, Elm Tree Lodge.
A plaque on the gates will pay tribute to how his grandfather served a term as chairman of Barnard Castle Rural Council and how he famously made sure his neighbour was the first person in the village to get electricity.
Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, Mr Rutter is also a parish councillor in the village and, along with Hamsterley and Upper Gaunless Action Group, successfully fended off proposals to put up wind turbines at Windy Bank, near Woodland.
Mr Rutter hopes to have the gates installed before the end of next month.

18/09/2016

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