The wood may be old, the brass dull with age, but every bench plaque is a dedication to somebody who was loved. We see them across our villages and towns, these links between the present and past, and yet it’s rare we know anything about the people they commemorate.
So, we took to social media and asked you to tell us the stories behind Tandridge’s bench plaques: who are the people they pay tribute to, and why has that particular location been chosen for them?
No. 1: David & Jean Davies, West Heath
The next time you are strolling through the beautiful surrounds of West Heath, on Limpsfield Chart, have a look for a bench plaque that reads ‘West Heath, much enjoyed by David and Jean Davies’. It was placed there in 2016 by their daughter, Victoria Ward, to celebrate their lives and for their family to have somewhere to visit, and remember them.
“Dad was a bank manager in the City before he retired, which is where he met Mum. She worked in the gift shop at Chartwell for a long time, and they lived in Home Park, in Hurst Green. Mum, Dad and I used to walk our dogs on West Heath nearly every day.
I scattered their ashes here as well, as it’s such a special place and reminds me of growing up with them.”
Victoria, who now lives in Reigate with her husband and three children, still visits her parents’ bench, especially on birthdays and anniversaries.
“Sadly my children didn’t ever know my Dad, who died in 2001, and my Mum died just a few weeks before my youngest daughter was born in 2014. Visiting their bench on West Heath gives them a little connection with their grandparents. We sit, picnic and walk our dog, and it’s truly beautiful.”
Do you know the story behind a bench plaque? We’d love to hear from you, if so. Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com