Family’s appeal to trace memorial bench which was stolen from riverside

The bench dedicated to Bill Garner

The bench dedicated to Bill Garner - Credit: Archant

A memorial bench dedicated to a St Neots man who died from cancer has been stolen from its riverside location.

The wooden bench, with black cast iron ‘2007’ lettering on the sides, has a plaque with an inscription that reads: ‘In memory of Bill Wavell Grant Garner, 7.4.41-20.02.07, one of his favourite places on the River Great Ouse’.

Mr Garner died on February 2, 2007, and his family chose the spot at River Lane, in Brampton, as he loved the water and was fond of sailing.

His widow, Joyce, said it was a place the family could sit for quiet reflection as her husband’s ashes had also been scattered nearby.

“My husband loved this part of the river, this was a special place for him,” she said.

Mrs Garner, of Romney Court, in Eaton Ford, had not been down to the river for a few weeks so was shocked to be told by a family member that the bench, which had

been secured with bolts, had been ripped out of the ground. She left a note at the site appealing for information and has since been told by a dog walker that the bench suddenly disappeared at the beginning of November.

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“It was incredibly heavy and whoever took it would have had to take it through two kissing gates so it would have been quite difficult to manoeuvre it,” added Mrs Garner.

“It is very distressing, it wasn’t just any bench and it would have been obvious to whoever took it that it had been put there in memory of someone who had died.”

Mrs Garner has contacted Cambridgeshire police, who she says were sympathetic but not able to do anything, and also the Environment Agency, which has a treatment plant nearby, and was told their staff have not removed the bench.

INFO: If you have any information, contact Mrs Garner on: 01480 395250.