Ribblehead: Sammy Chapman 1941 – 2015

On a glorious warm summer day there are few better places to be than the Yorkshire Dales.  We parked among the bustle at Ribblehead and left the crowds behind walking through the grassland below the slopes of Ingleborough to Great Douk Cave.  Hiking back along the slopes of Whernside, a hillside dotted with caves and sink holes, I was focusing on the stunning views to the impressive Ribblehead Viaduct with 24 massive arches.


The view to Ribblehead Viaduct

On a lane I found this moving memorial bench to Sammy Chapman that gives a panoramic view over this wonderful countryside.  Sammy Chapman as she was known, or Marjorie Chapman, lived at the remote Scar Top Farm at Chapel le Dale.  Sammy Chapman died aged 74 years of age  and the Yorkshire Ramblers Club provided members with the details of Sammy Chapman’s funeral.  The plaque on the memorial bench gives a personal and thoughtful portrait of Sammy Chapman, the words conjuring up a picture of a loving woman in her farmhouse kitchen generously cooking tasty meals for her family and friends.




Bamber Bridge near Preston: Jean Freeman

Even after many years of stopping to read the plaques on memorial benches, finding a memorial bench in a supermarket was a first for me.  We lived in Preston in Lancashire for many years and these days the Sainsbury’s store in Bamber Bridge south of Preston is often a convenient place to shop on our way home.  Walking across the car park I noticed a new addition to the supermarket.  There is now a memorial bench at the front of the shop looking over the car park.


This Seat Is In Memory Of Jean Freeman Sadly Missed

The plaque on the bench gives me no clues about when Jean Freeman died and I can only guess that she worked in the Sainsbury’s shop.  I assume this memorial bench is a lovely gesture by her former colleagues and that reflects well on the supermarket but I might be wrong.


Sainsbury’s supermarket at Bamber Bridge near Preston

Rivington Pike: Jim Evans 16.11.1955 – 28.05.2014

It was a glorious clear day last time we climbed up Rivington Pike.  We could see as far as Blackpool Tower and the Bowland Fells in the north.  It was some years since we have walked up to this fantastic view point and the paths have been improved recently.  To reach Rivington Pike you can walk through Rivington Terraced Gardens, 45 acres of hillside garden created for William Hesketh Lever of Lever Brothers, now Unilever, in the early 20th century.  Explore the many paths over the hillside and you will find the Japanese Gardens, the Pigeon Tower and an ornate stone bridge.  After the greenery of the gardens you emerge on to the moorland of Rivington Moor.  The tower on Rivington Pike is a local landmark that we always head for on our walks here and look out for as we drive up the M61.


The two benches looking over the Rivington and Anglezarke Reservoirs

Jim Evans is remembered on two benches overlooking this splendid view.  He was clearly a man who was loved by his family and both they and his colleagues and friends wanted to remember him with a memorial bench.  The benches overlook the gardens and the chain of Rivington Reservoirs built in the 19th century to supply water to Liverpool.


In Memory of my Husband Jim Evans (dearest pa to our girls) Who died age 58yrs on 28th May 2014 Jim loved the outdoors and he enjoyed this view many times!  We miss you more as each day passes. Love Sandra, Lauren, Charlotte xxx

Only 58-years-old when he died, Jim Evans is remembered on one bench from his family and another from his work mates at Flowtechnology UK.  This company distributes hydraulic and pneumatic products from their centre in Skelmersdale.


In Memory of James Edward Evans (Jim) 16.11.1955 – 28.05.2014 Sadly missed by friends and colleagues at Flowtechnology UK Jim loved his walks around “Rivvy” and the local tea shops.

Plans are now afoot to restore Rivington’s Terraced Gardens with money from the Heritage Lottery Fund, United Utilities and others.  This will continue to be a much-loved place to visit for Lancashire folk.


Marbury Country Park: David Vodros 1st February 1985 – 16th August 2016

It was a cold but dry wintery day when we set off for a walk around Marbury Country Park on the edge of Northwich in Cheshire.  This is a fantastic area for a walk with so much variety there is no time to be bored.  We started out walking through the woods along the shores of Budworth Mere, spotting the pretty village of Great Budworth across the water.  We followed the canal for a short distance to the Lion Salt Works museum before walking back round Neumann’s Flash, stopping to look at the wildfowl and returning by the River Weaver and back to the canal and Big Wood.  This is a walk we’ve done before but I never tire of it.

2018 Jan Marbury Country Park Cheshire (3)

Looking over Neumann’s Flash

Walking around Neumann’s Flash on this grey day I found this memorial bench to David Vodros, a young man who is clearly much loved and missed.

2018 Jan Marbury Country Park Cheshire (2)

In Loving Memory of David Vodros 1st February 1985 – 16th August 2016, Forever In Our Hearts


Eye Kettleby Lakes near Melton Mowbray: David Southerington 1940 – 2006

If you fancy a bit of luxurious camping at a reasonable price then Eye Kettleby Lakes near to Melton Mowbray might just fit the bill.   This adult only tranquil site has individuals bathrooms that are warm and roomy with excellent showers.  The lodge-style club house is a comfortable place for breakfast or afternoon tea and in the evening you can enjoy the bar and occasional live music.  Just walking around the fishing lakes spotting wildlife might be enough exercise and is certainly lovely or you can walk through the Leicestershire countryside.  We strode out to Burrough Hill which is a fantastic view point and visited Melton Mowbray where those who aren’t vegetarians can buy local pork pies.

2018 March Devon Conversions meet Melton Mowbray (13)

The bench overlooks the fishing lakes at Eye Kettleby Lakes

If you stroll around the fishing lakes you might come across this memorial bench to David Southerington who is remembered with a smile for being, ‘Not overweight just not tall.’  Perhaps David Southerington liked fishing and spent happy hours in this peaceful place.

2018 March Devon Conversions meet Melton Mowbray (12)


Windermere: James Archie Galloway 1912 – 2003

It was one of those perfect days when the sun shines and the ground is hard and frozen; the tops of the Lake District fells were covered with a fine layer of snow.  From the town of Windermere we had a brisk walk up the hillside to the viewpoint on Orrest Head to warm up.  The climb got my blood pumping but it was cold on this exposed craggy top in the wind.  Despite the cold you can’t resist taking in the panorama from Orrest Head and we weren’t the only people out enjoying such a fine day.  The 360° views to the blue water of Windermere on one side and the Kirkstone fells on the other were stunning.


On the path up to Orrest Head above Windermere

On this popular path I found this simple bench in memory of James Archie Galloway.  The bench told me that James Archie Galloway worked as a Tree Warden in the Windermere area.  The role of the Tree Warden is a voluntary one co-ordinated by The Tree Council and there are many thousand across the country.  Tree Wardens gather information about local trees, encourage local projects and help protect trees in an area.  Trees are an important part of our landscape and ecology and I am grateful to anyone who gives their time doing this worthwhile and wonderful work.  I am pleased that James Archie Galloway is remembered for his contribution.


In Memory of James Archie Galloway 1912 – 2003 Windermere’s Tree Warden

Fleetwood: Ian Munro

If you’ve never been to Fleetwood I suggest you take a look at this Lancashire gem.  I have certainly had a soft spot for the coastal town of Fleetwood [north of Blackpool] for many years.  The town was planned and built from scratch in the 19th century and retains a gentile air.  The promenade has wide open views across the Irish Sea, the little ferry still runs across the Wyre to Knott End and you can stroll up to the top of The Mount and think back to the days when this area was just sand dunes.  We had walked along the seafront to the modern observation tower at Rossall Point and chatted to the friendly and knowledgeable bird watching volunteers there, returning through the Marine Hall gardens.  The Marine Hall is on Fleetwood’s waterfront and was built in 1935.  It was February and the gardens were tidy but didn’t look their best but I immediately noticed this memorial bench to Ian Munro.

2018 Feb Fleetwood (22)

Fleetwood Marine Hall gardens

Ian Munro was Head of Culture, Leisure and Tourism at the local council.  He died suddenly in the early days of 2017.  The memorial bench looks over the gardens of Fleetwood’s Marine Hall and tells me that Ian Munro’s hard work and dedication was appreciated by his colleagues and the people of Fleetwood and he is very much missed by them and his family.

2018 Feb Fleetwood (21)

in loving memory of Ian Munro whose legacy lives on at Marine Hall and in the treasured memories of his family, friends and colleagues