Hartland Quay: Tom Jenkyn 1909-2000 & Beryl Jenkyn 1916-2007


The cliffs at Hartland Quay

Some memorial benches are special because of the sentiment of the dedication, others have a uniquely designed bench and others are remarkable for the view.  This simple memorial bench with plaques to Tom Jenkyn and Beryl Jenkyn certainly has an unbeatable outlook.  The bench is at Hartland Quay on the Hartland Peninsula in north Devon; a beautiful coastline that we visited on a glorious sunny day last Spring.  The Hartland Peninsular is designated an Area of Outstanding Beauty and is an excellent place for walking and sightseeing.  We spent a memorable afternoon walking from our campsite in the nearby village of Stoke to Hartland Quay.  Before following the cliff path to Speke’s Mill Mouth we stopped to enjoy the scenery at Hartland Quay and I found this lovely bench to rest on.


In memory of Tom Jenkyn 1909 – 2000 & Beryl Jenkyn 1916 – 2007

Judging by how worn away the grass is underneath the bench this is a popular place to sit and enjoy the panorama and many people will be grateful to Tom and Beryl Jenkyn’s relatives who had this bench erected in their memory.  I am sure, like me, many other visitors wondered about the lives of this couple.

The sandstones and mudstones at Hartland Quay are layered and folded in a spectacular fashion and sitting and gazing at the shapes in the rocks and the story this tells is a worthwhile  way to spend some time.  On a clear day you can see out to Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel.  In the spring you will certainly see pink sea thrift (Armeria maritima) bobbing in the breeze among the rocks and while we were here taking in all this beauty we spotted a peregrine flying over the cliffs.

We eventually had to leave the bench and this stunning spot to continue our walk along the cliffs, making an enjoyable circuit back to our campsite via Lymebridge.


Eggleston: Bert West 24.5.1920 – 16.12.2009 & Rene West 3.12.1921 – 20.5.2015

Camping near the lovely village of Cotherstone we walked along the beautiful river Tees to Eggleston Hall.  This is a fantastic walk through peaceful countryside that took us above the trees and gave us panoramic views over Teesdale.  At Eggleston Hall we visited the walled gardens, under separate ownership to the hall where there is a nursery and a walk around the walled gardens to the charming ruined chapel.  We left our fee in the honesty box and followed the numbered stones around the garden at a leisurely pace.  This is a garden for plant lovers, there are so many to enjoy here you could visit in every season and have a different experience.


The walled garden at Eggleston Hall Gardens

In the productive fruit and vegetable garden with fruit trees around the walls and rows of vegetables I found this memorial bench with two separate plaques, one to Bert West and one to Rene West.  This bench is in a great position to sit and relax and enjoy watching people strolling around the garden.  I can only assume Bert and Rene were a couple, Rene surviving Bert by more than five years and re-united on this bench.


In loving memory of Bert West 24.05.1920 – 16.12.2009 & In loving memory of Rene West 3.12.1921 – 20.5.2015

You can buy many of the plants you see growing in the garden and there is also a cafe at Eggleston Hall Gardens that serves good food so there’s no excuse not to spend an hour or more at this lovely spot.


Dunster: James T Ruston 1940 – 2007

Dunster is an lovely village on the Somerset coast that we visited on a damp day.  The medieval village is overlooked by Dunster Castle and wander the pretty streets and you will find dovecotes, a tithe barn and the Yarn Market on the High Street.  Walk through the woods below the castle and find a pack horse bridge that still crosses the River Avill and an old mill.  I particularly liked the old dovecote with its revolving ladder that allowed the pigeon (not doves it seems) keeper to access even the highest nest holes.  Dunster is clearly a village that people retain their attachment to as there are many memorial benches dotted around and particularly in the village garden.


In Loving Memory James Ruston Loving Husband, Dad, Grandad 1940 – 2007 236583751 LCPL James T Rushton Re UBIQUE 1958 – 1968

In the gardens for the parish church I found this striking and moving memorial bench to Lance Corporal James T Ruston.  The plaque tells visitors lots of information about James Ruston.  What stood out for me initially was his military record.  James Ruston served in the Royal Engineers between 1958 – 1968 and we are given his service number and their motto, ubique, meaning everywhere.  The plaque also gives some personal information; James Ruston was also a much loved dad and a grandad and he lived for around 67 years.


The gardens at St George’s Church Dunster