The Bridgewater Canal, opened in 1761, is named after Francis Egerton, the third Duke of Bridgewater. He built this canal from Worsley to Manchester to transport coal and this was the first canal in Britain cut along a route that didn’t follow an existing watercourse. Francis Egerton met with James Brindley, pioneering canal engineer, at the lovely Worsley Old Hall to complete the route through Patricroft to Trafford Park. Today it is a lovely walk on a sunny day from Barton Swing Bridge to Monton and on the way, as I did, you will stop at this heartbreaking memorial bench to Courtney Eaton.
Courtney Eaton was just 17-years old when he was stabbed in the stomach on 5 September 2008 and died in hospital the next day. The plaque on this memorial bench is a tribute to how much Courtney Eaton is loved and missed by his family and friends. Courtney Eaton’s parents described him as a ‘Fun-loving and carefree lad’ who was a motorcycle enthusiast and had recently left school and started work in his first job.
There are many tributes to Courtney Eaton on an online guest book; the messages of condolence from so many different people who have been touched by the tragic death of this young man are poignant and difficult to read.