Memorial bench destroyed as vandalism continues at Aldwick’s duck pond

A memorial bench dedicated to the parents of an Aldwick woman has become the latest victim of a spate of vandalism at a popular duck pond.

Thursday, 30th May 2019, 11:57 am
The damaged memorial bench at Aldwick's duck pond
The damaged memorial bench at Aldwick's duck pond

Residents have been left ‘very distressed’ after a spate of alleged anti-social incidents, compounded by the death and disappearance of some of the ducks, at Aldwick's duck pond. Read more here.

Grandmother Lynn Osborne, 68, revealed that her family are the latest in a long line of people to be affected by the incidents.

She said: "I’m sad to say the bench that myself and my three sisters bought 19 years ago, has wilfully been smashed up.

The damaged memorial bench at Aldwick's duck pond

"This was in memory of our mum and dad. So sad. I feel disgusted that people of today can do things like that. There is no respect.

"I just don't understand why people would do something like that. It hurts because of what it was there for.

"It's awful that it won't be there any more. It would not be the same even if it was replaced and it would probably only happen again."

Lynn said the 'whole place needs monitoring' by CCTV.

Mandy Finch (right) and her mum Lynn Osborne (second left) have been left 'disgusted' by vandalism in Aldwick

She added: "We checked on the bench after first hearing about the vandalism and it looked to be fine.

"My grandchildren saw the bench after it was destroyed. It's not nice for them to see it like that either. The bench meant something to three generations. It's upsetting."

Lynn's daughter Mandy Finch, 42, said she was 'absolutely disgusted and upset'.

The mum-of-two added: "We walked down there yesterday and were taken back by what we saw. It was a bit of a shock.

The bench was bought by Lynn and her three sisters in dedication of their parents Eric and Jean Baker

"It was my grandparents' special place and it's also where we scattered their ashes.

"It's just a shame that people can go around wrecking the place."

Aldwick Preservation Society chairman Paul Bignell said it the third time the same bench has been damaged.

"It was repaired twice before," he said,

"It really is so heartbreaking. We are raising more public awareness and trying to sort out the CCTV."

Mandy said the incident has sparked widespread anger on social media and the family have since been offered financial support to replace or repair the bench.

Grandad's Front Room founder Danny Dawes said the charity would be funding repairs to the bench.

He said: "It's ridiculous, mindless vandalism and we need to do something.

"The bench has been taken away and all the measurements have been taken. It is going to be taken to Men's Sheds, and fixed up by the guys from CREATE and paid for by Grandad's Front Room. It shows that we are not all bad!"

Sussex Police confirmed it is aware of the incident.

A spokesman said: "We have engaged with the informant, whom we extend our sympathies to. "We have advised them that unfortunately, due to no further lines of enquiry, the file will be closed, pending any new information coming to light. "Anyone with any information about the incident can report it online or call 101, quoting serial 581 of 28/05."