A Catalogue of Dedicated Benches

Whilst wandering around Christchurch Park in Ipswich, Suffolk I noticed that around 2/3rds of the wooden benches were inscribed as a memorial to some one or an event - so I have decided to photograph and catalogue them- and perhaps find out a bit more about the people and history of Ipswich along the way!

Monday, 4 May 2015

The Round Pond

As you can see - the benches are enjoyed by many of the people who visit the park - giving them a chance to stop and appreciate the wonderful space around them.

This bench overlooking the round pond was provided by the family of Irmgard Ortiz - who had the wonderful nickname of Nanny Tortoise!

This bench commemorated the 161/196 Field Ambulances from the Royal Army Medical Corps - especially those taken Prisoner of War in the Far East. Their stories are told in an interesting website here

I haven't been able to find out anything about ST Baylis - but like how they have provided the bench For his love of Ipswich.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Near Christchurch Mansion

This bench on the approach to Christchurch Mansion is dedicated to Ralph Sidney Tricker 1920-2008 with 'Loved and remembered always' across the bottom'

 In the gardens at the side of the mansion is this bench for Veronica Burlinson 1925-2005 - another person who I cannot find any info on at the moment.

Also in the gardens  is this bench to Trevor David Welham who worked for Ipswich Borough Council, stamping out benefit fraud and who died at an early age of 56.

Just around the path from him is Ian David Drake 9.7.68-28.6.05. Inscribed with  Forever in Our Hearts and a picture of a koi carp

Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Peace Garden

There are 2 benches for Sri Chimnoy - one to commemorate when he visited Ipswich and the Peace Garden in 1987 and another after his death in 2007. One is inscribed with 'A Dreamer of World Peace'. There Sri Chimnoy centre in Ipswich and a statue to him in Chantry Park

Nearby is a bench to Christopher James Jefferson who died aged only 40. It is inscribed  Ipswich - Rest in Peace  - Cambodia. I have discovered a press article 3 years before his death, about how he was caught up in an armed siege Cambodia.

Finally a bench erected in 2003 to show the close bonds with our twinned town of Arras. I was lucky enough to visit Arras last week as part of my First World War Battlefields tour. I went down the Wellington Quarry chalk mines under the town and learnt about the Suffolk Battalions role in the Battle of Arras 1917.
 This is where several thousand of men had to stay underground for several days before being given the order to attack.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

The Sensory Garden

In 2012 part of the Arboretum was transformed into a sensory garden with the help of the Papworth Trust and its volunteers. With Lavender and other strong smelling plants, it provides stimulus for sight impaired people and also encourages butterflies to the area! This bench commemorates its opening,

The next bench is for Marc Downing who was tragically killed at the age of only 22 whilst on holiday by a hit and run driver . It has the lovely inscription "Music is the Language of the World" along the seat.

The third seat in this area is to remember Tony Warren - is this Tony Warren who played the flute and was involved in the Suffolk Concert Band?

Friday, 27 March 2015

The Tennis Courts

The first bench  coming under the tunnel towards the tennis courts  is in memory of a popular Ipswich Hairdresser Roberto Labella  who died of a heart attack aged only 39 - you can read more about him and the memorial bench here.

Just around the corner is a bench erected by the Friends of Christchurch Park in the year of the Queens Diamond Jubilee

I then came across one of the many squirrels in the park - he was quite tame and let me get very close before scampering off!

This last bench is very clear for who it is for -  Jack Chapman 1933-2012 who was chairman of the Ipswich Society from 2000-2012. There is a lovey eulogy of his life in an edition of the Ipswich Society newsletter. He was a teacher, magistrate, Fabian but not born or bred in Ipswich!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Around the Bandstand

There are 3 benches around the bandstand including the newest one in the park - it has just recently been installed - you can see how new it looks compared to another.

It is for Olive Fayers who loved to be 97 (1917 -2014) and has the lovely inscription ' Had A Wonderful Life'

the next bench is for another Olive - this time Olive Cook , who also lived to a ripe old age of 96 and was a great grandmother to 27!! Her bench reads 'she loved this park all her life'

The final bench here is for Trevor Dowe (1943-2010) and has the touching inscription 'Forever in our Hearts'

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Still Near Henley Road

Yvonne Warrington must have been an animal lover, as not only did she ask for donations to the Blue Cross, but her bench has a pair of tigers engrave in it as well as ' In memory of Yvonne Warrington 1928-2014'. 

This bench has not one, but two brass plaques on it to commemorate both the 75th and 125th anniversary of the Boys Brigade in 1958 and 2008. They were presented by the Ipswich & District Battalion.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Henley Road Benches

There were quite a few benches in the Henley Road or Arts & Crafts section of the park.

Is this bench in memory of a young lady who died from epilepsy in 2008? Victoria ( Vicky) Baker - A true shining star

Next to that bench is one with a very tragic story attached to it

Kate Wasyluk was killed as she was walking along Foxhall Road with 2 other friends. They were hit by a car driven by a disqualified driver who was not only drunk, but also had taken heroin and ecstasy. 2 of the 3 girls were killed. Kate also has a tree dedicated to her.

I'm hoping that the story of Beate Parry, who may have lived just around the corner in Ivry Street  was not so sad.

A walk in the Park......

Yesterday I went for a brisk walk around Christchuch Park and noticed that many benches were dedicated to people, so today I decided to make a blog all about the benches and see if I could find out more about the people or events that were being commemorated in Ipswich's best park. 

This is going to be number 22 in my 50/50 Challenges - 50 new things to do whilst I am 50. You can read more about this on my other blog here.

I entered at the Park Road entrance and the first bench I came across was this one

It is dedicated to Tina, Sophie, Rudy and Tani who loved this park - and I am guessing that they were not people but dogs!  Still, its a lovely way to remember them and  it is in an area that is still popular with all the dog walkers.

Nearby was this bench with Norman George Thurston 1925-2007 - who enjoyed this park. So a bench seems very appropriate for him.

This one is a bit more mysterious - it just has For our friend Lisa - if you know who she was and why there is a bench for her, please contact me, I would love to know that it has't got her full name!

the final one is on a plastic moulded bench not a wooden one - the small brass plaque reads Richard S Markham 11.7.28 - 28.8.93 at peace in the park