New benches will remember Wallingford's fallen heroes

Herald Series: Betty Atkins with the benches that will be replaced Buy this photo Betty Atkins with the benches that will be replaced

DILAPIDATED benches in Wallingford High Street will be replaced to mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War.

Two wooden and metal benches on the edge of The Kinecroft park, opposite the library, will be replaced later this year.

The benches were installed by Toc H, a charity that was formed after the First World War.

Wallingford town councillor Betty Atkins said: “We have had great use out of those two double seats.

“They are in need of repair and replacement, and as we’re near the 100th anniversary of the war they should be repaired.”

The black benches have not aged well, with peeling paint and warped wood. They have also been repainted several times because of graffiti.

Mrs Atkins said: “There are 82 men listed on the Wallingford war memorial. This is something we ought to remember and be mournful to those people and their families. I am determined that they will be replaced.”

Fellow councillor Lynda Atkins said: “This is a great way to mark the centenary of the First World War. They are in quite a good place, as people are walking it is a nice place to sit.

“Since they needed doing anyway, it seemed a nice idea to do them this year.”

The town council initially looked at simply repairing the wood on the benches, but found it was too badly damaged.

Town clerk Jamie Baskeyfield said: “It’s not just the timber, the steel-work is in a sorry state.”

The council has planned to discuss how much money they want to spend on the benches.

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