Vandalised Nidd Gorge bench to be replaced for free


Last updated May 4, 2021

A family whose memorial bench in Nidd Gorge was vandalised on Friday has been informed by Harrogate Borough Council the bench will be replaced free of cost.

Sylvia James, who erected the bench for her late husband Colin in 2016, told the Stray Ferret she received the news from the council this morning.

She said the council had said it would replace the bench for free because the cast-iron end pieces were still intact.

Ms James set up a fundraising page to raise money to cover the cost. Although she set a target of £300, a relative then told her that the cost may be as high as £1000.

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Ms James said the bench was incredibly important to her because of the shared memories she had with her late husband:

“When Colin was really ill we would park the car on Bilton Lane and he could just about manage to walk to the bench round the corner from there and he’d sit there and get his strength back. So obviously I want it in the same place, it’s for the memory that goes with it.”

The fundraiser has raised £540 so far. Mrs James had planned to donate any excess money to Saint Michael’s Hospice, which helped care for Mr James during his illness.

Now she intends to donate the full amount to the hospice. Mrs James said of the hospice:

“They were just marvellous, they really looked after him.”

We did not receive a response from the council by the time of publication.


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