There are now three town centre memorial benches with poppy designs in Cleveleys, and a Tommy soldier silhouette, forming a touching Remembrance Corner.
Two of them were kindly donated entirely by local residents Paul and Sharon Riley-Clarke and they fundraised for the third bench and the soldier.
Find them on Victoria Road West near to the traffic lights outside Specsavers. They’re a fitting tribute to veterans.
The two new benches mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. The intricate design features soldiers, poppies and a poignant quote, reading ‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.’
The second bench in the pair, along with the soldier, were dedicated at a Remembrance Service on 7 November, with the help of children from Manor Beach School.
The first of the pair to be installed was unveiled at the Cleveleys Christmas light switch on, on 28 November 2018.
The First of the Town Centre Memorial Benches
The first of Cleveleys poppy design memorial benches is outside Poundland, near the traffic lights on Victoria Road West in Cleveleys. Have you wondered how it got there… it’s a story of a memorial bench and the bees.
It’s a lovely black metal bench, with the motto ‘Lest we Forget’ on a field of red poppies. Look closely and you’ll see two bees, immortalised in the design, and they’re there for a reason.
Sharon Riley-Clarke and her husband Paul placed the bench there. In fact they’ve put the other new ones there too.
They’re both beekeepers and it’s the wax from their beehives which has been put to good use. When the hives are ‘uncapped’ they’re left with beeswax – the bees make it to cover the honey in their hive.
It’s a very clean, sterile wax which Sharon uses to make Lip balm. In its raw state, beeswax is very brittle so Sharon blends it with other oils (sweet almond oil in this case) and essential oils. The lip balm is very popular and cured many skin ailments.
Pouring the profits into the bench
Sharon made 500 of these lipbalms and sold them at £2 each. She says “It cost us a few hundred pounds to make them and we poured all this back into the making of the bench.”
“We’ve done this because we have a massive respect for our armed forces past and present. My dad was in the RAF, and through my work as a paramedic, I have met many veterans (including a dambuster) and heard so many fantastic stories. I recently met a 102 year old veteran who has a legion de honneur medal – the French equivalent to the Victoria Cross.”
She added “I’ve taken many a veteran to hospital in the past, and have such big respect for them. I’ve heard the most amazing stories of courage and character.”
Sharon and Paul helped to design this unique bench and it takes pride of place on our own high street.
Other Poppy Benches
After our poppy bench appeared in Cleveleys, it sparked a lot of interest, not just here on the Fylde but all over the country.
Fleetwood Town Council has since paid for and installed seven benches at various sites in the town. Here at Visit Fylde Coast we’ve had lots of enquiries from community groups and councils all over the UK. There are now many more benches around Lancashire.
If you are interested in purchasing a bench, they are made by Roll and Scroll. There are different versions from £600+ delivery upwards. Please tell them that you saw it on the Visit Cleveleys website if you do get in touch. Thanks!
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