London SE1 website team

Southwark-made Dresden Cross is hoisted into position

The Dresden Cross, made in Southwark, has been placed on top of the restored Frauenkirche almost 60 years after it was bombed.

The Duke of Kent was present to see this gift of reparation by the people of Great Britain to the people of Dresden handed over.

It is the largest single piece ever made at Grant MacDonald in Bear Lane off Southwark Street. Craftsman Alan Smith spent eight months building the six foot cross and orb in stainless steel and copper to the original 18th-century design.

His father Frank flew a Lancaster bomber in the 1945 raid that destroyed 80 per cent of the city including the Frauenkirche.

"My father used to tell me about the horrors and the suffering of Dresden," Mr Smith said. "He did not want it to be forgotten. By working on the cross I've come closer to my father and it's my way of saying goodbye to him and fulfilling his wishes."

Old Dresdeners cheered as workers eased The Crown and orb inch by inch on to the church's tower with a crane while bells pealed.

The Duke of Kent, the patron of the Dresden Trust established to raise money for the reconstruction, said the crowning was a sign of hope for a "free, peaceful and united Europe".

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