Bob's very first Bench Working Party report!
The Kimpton BenchWorking Party
Purpose - to repair and keep in good condition the public benches in the village, to obtain and install further benches.
Members – Chris Baker, Ron Coleman, Jack Edwards, Bob Finch, Jon Marsh, Yorg Otte.
Progress Report April 2005
The Working Party (listed above) have now completed their first phase of work, that is repairing and staining the existing Kimpton benches. The repair work done was at minimum cost and only where absolutely necessary. The cleaning and staining was to a higher standard using a guaranteed-for-5-year staining product. Ownership of the Kimpton benches is not always clear, however we are adopting them all as ‘village’ benches’ for the purposes of maintenance.
The work done was as follows
The (old) Recreation Ground. Repaired, pressure washed and stained the two benches at the top. Removed the concrete posts that supported two old benches to the right of the driveway, disposed of concrete posts (donated them to the Bowls Club). The two benches inside the children’s play area were not dealt with, under instructions of Chris Baker.
The Wren Close Play Area.Repaired one bench and stained both benches.
Wren Close. Stained one bench
The New Recreation Ground.Stained bench to West of Tennis Court.
The Churchyard. Repaired, pressure washed and stained bench on North boundary wall. Pressure washed and stained bench on West of walkway near tower. The bench on the South East churchyard path is maintained very well by Mrs Garcia, I have offered our services if required – she countered by offering to join the working party if we need any more help! A new bench, funded by Mrs Franks, will shortly be installed outside the tower; Ken Buckler has suggested we adopt that too. I have spoken to Mrs Franks, who has gratefully accepted our offer. The lovely oak benches (in memory of Dr Probyn) on the South wall of the church are regrettably terminally spoilt (by weather and lack of maintenance). Ken is looking for a sponsor for a replacement bench – which we will then install/adopt.
The Green. Yorg has previously repaired, pressure washed and stained the three benches on the Green
Dacre Rooms. Jack Edwards has nearly completed the construction of a bench of his own design to replace the broken one in front of the Dacre Rooms. The bench is in memory of Michael Strange and is privately funded.
Can anyone think of benches we have missed?
The cost of materials so far expended is £126.26 including VAT. This includes some spares for future use, eg vandalism.
We now will be looking to raise money for new benches, and then installing and maintaining them. I am currently investigating sources of funding, including of course Memorial Benches. Would the Parish Council consider funding one or more benches from their funds?
The possible site of a new benches needs, I presume, the approval of the KPC. Obvious sites include an existing concrete pad at the top of the Old Recreation Ground - where a bench once stood; a new site in the top south western corner of the Old Rec, just below the footpath entrance; the walled enclosure in the High Street near the Doctor’s Surgery; and perhaps a few benches around the perimeter of the New Rec.
Most of these do not take account of the needs of older residents, without cars, who walk around the village. There are currently no benches for people to sit on in the High Street on their way to or from the Corner Stores or the Doctor’s Surgery. There is no bench for people to sit on at the bottom of Coopers Hill.
Although probably even more controversial, the prospect of a few benches placed around our village footpath network appeals to some people (eg me). There are some suitable rough hewn Oak benches available, intended for use in woodland etc which will allay some people’s fears. One obvious site is at the point where the Environmentalists placed a log ‘seat’ some time ago. This has lovely views down to the village. A rough hewn oak bench to replace the log is a possibility.
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