Memorial Bench for Dad
Memorial Bench for Dad
The National Trust has denied our application for a memorial bench for our beloved Dad on Culver Down, behind Bembridge Fort. We appealed against the decision and it has been denied again. This whole process has already taken 18 months, so to be denied again has been particularly upsetting.
The reason for denying the request is that there is a bench within 82 metres of our requested location. The bench in question is an old plank of wood on two struts; not a “proper” bench in our opinion, and certainly not a memorial bench. We were told that we may be able to apply for a bench elsewhere on the Downs overlooking Sandown Bay but it is the location which is important to us as we would like the bench near the tree where Dad's ashes were scattered. I have asked for a copy of the criteria used to make this decision but have so far been provided with nothing. I do not believe that a bench, that we will be paying for (costs start at £400), would spoil the beauty of the location; cause harm to any wildlife, flora or fauna; or in any way impact negatively on the area, so this second denial has given us no choice but to start a petition that we can present to the relevant department at the National Trust.
For those of you who knew Dad you will know that he gave freely and passionately of his time every week for yearsㅡall the while battling with cancerㅡto volunteer for the National Trust at Bembridge Fort giving guided tours. He even won Best Tour Guide! He was passionate about the fort and its history and used to play there as a child. He often flew his model airplanes on Culver which is why we chose the tree behind the fort to scatter his ashes. Dad was well known in many circles on the Island: Model airplane groups, scooter groups, the IOW writer’s circle, and The National Trust, giving generously of his time and energy to write newsletters, run meetings and volunteer. He was also a published author, writing a local history book about plane crashes on the Island called Wight Air Wrecks.
We, his family and friends, would just like to honour him, his life, and his generosity of spirit ㅡespecially to The National Trustㅡ in such a small way by dedicating a memorial bench in a place that was so very special to him.
Please could you help us by signing this petition and sharing on social media so that we might have a chance to overturn this decision?
Diane, Sam, and Zoe