AFTER nine years in storage, Poole’s precious D-Day plaque is finally back on permanent display.

The colourful Poole Pottery plaque was hoisted into position on the Dolphin Quays building on Poole Quay on Wednesday, October 28.

The metre square panel, which weighs almost 1.5 tons, was made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Operation Overlord in 1944, when Poole was a major embarkation port for craft leaving for the Normandy Landings.

Once displayed on the old Poole Pottery building on The Quay, it was removed prior to the building’s demolition in 2000. But it was a condition of the planning approval for Dolphin Quays that the plaque, along with others, should be returned to public view on the building.

The near decade-long failure to display it has been branded “shameful” and a “disgrace” by residents, but earlier this year it was sent for specialist restoration with the promise it would be back in place for Armistice Day.

The Society of Poole Men was among those lobbying for its return.

Society chairman and former serviceman, Douglas Cook, welcomed the restoration of this “piece of Poole heritage”.

He said: “I’m very pleased that at long last the D-Day plaque had been reinstated near the quay where it will be seen by many visitors and residents and will remind them of the events which took place in Poole in June 1944.”

He thanked the new head of planning and regeneration, Stephen Thorne, for “unjamming the jog jam” which he hoped would also see other tiled panels from Poole Pottery going back on show.

Stephen Thorne, who until January was commanding officer of the 3,000-strong Royal Navy Reserve, said: “I understand the emotion and the history involved with the plaque. This is extremely important to Poole.

“I’m pleased we’ve arrived at the position where the D-Day plaque is in place for Remembrance Day.”

The plaque will be rededicated at a ceremony on November 11 at 3pm.

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