A COUPLE who lost their teenage daughter to cancer were among those who installed a memorial bench and planted an oak sapling in Riverside Park, St Neots. David and Liz Loomes, of Monarch Road, Eaton Socon, were at the event with their late daughter s hus

Emma Loomes, who died of cancer last year

A COUPLE who lost their teenage daughter to cancer were among those who installed a memorial bench and planted an oak sapling in Riverside Park, St Neots.

David and Liz Loomes, of Monarch Road, Eaton Socon, were at the event with their late daughter's husky dog, Lottie. Emma, 19, died of cancer last year.

One of Emma's last wishes was to have a husky dog. David and Liz bought Lottie for her but Emma died seven weeks later.

The event was held on Sunday, July 9, by members and friends of St Neots Acorn Cancer Support Group in memory of their loved ones.

The tree was planted by Mo Towns, a cancer patient who set up the Acorn Support Group four years ago with her Macmillan nurse, Gill Scott.

She said: "I realised there was nothing in St Neots for cancer patients and their families."

Mo was helped to plant the tree by another founder member, Keith Dobney, from St Neots, who lost his wife Fay to cancer two years ago but is still an active member of the group, as are Emma's parents.

In November last year the group planted a tree and installed a bench in St Neots' Priory Park.

Mo said: "We wanted to plant an oak tree because we are the Acorn Group and we thought there should be a place where people could sit and have their thoughts and their memories.

"The first one was in Riverside Park and we thought it would be nice to have another bench in the centre of town."

Mr Dobney raised £800 for the bench by walking three circuits of the track around Grafham Water. The tree was donated by St Neots Town Council.

To sum up the event, Jeanne Bates, who lost her son Simon to cancer, wrote a poem called A Place and Time.

A Place and Time

Planting this oak tree will forever mark a place and time in our lives.

Such a restful place to sit,

With time and space for reflection.

In the distance, perhaps, the sound of children playing,

The hum of traffic on the bridge,

The bustle of the nearby market town.

People strolling past us,

Butterflies dancing on a breeze.

Boats and swans gliding gracefully by on the river.

Whether busy and full of life or calm and peaceful,

This will be a special place.

A place to heal, to let go, to share emotional thoughts of loved ones,

Linking the past and present with hope for the future.

As we rest beside this oak tree and remember happier times,

We can take comfort and strength from our memories

To help us face new challenges ahead.

In this special place, let us find the courage to create a new tomorrow,

A tomorrow we are able to live with.