09:11AM, Wednesday 18 July 2012
Sunshine touched a river island as four tragic schoolboys were remembered at the blessing of the new Altwood memorial.
Relatives of the teenagers who died on a ski trip in 1988 stood solemnly as it was unveiled to a small crowd on Ray Mill Island, Maidenhead, yesterday.
The £7,000 bronze statue was funded by all corners of the community, which united in disgust after the original was stolen for scrap last year.
"This has been a very difficult nine months for all of us but we are so grateful for the fundraising and messages of support to us all," said the Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead, Cllr Colin Rayner, reading a statement on behalf of the families.
"This beautiful statue is now back in its rightful place."
Altwood classmates Lee Powell, 15, Andrew Watts, 14, Daniel Howton, 14, and Michael Taylor, 13, died after falling 300ft from a precipice in the Austrian Alps.
The new memorial has been 'securely fitted' into position rather than just mounted, to stop scrap metal thieves stealing it again.
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Police raided addresses in Lillibrooke Crescent, Cox Green, and in Crown Lane, Farnham Royal, at about 7.15am.