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Bench stolen from Chadwell Heath park

PUBLISHED: 10:31 23 June 2015 | UPDATED: 10:31 23 June 2015

Group chairman Terry Justice, where the bench once stood.

Group chairman Terry Justice, where the bench once stood.

Archant

A commemorative park bench funded by a Chadwell Heath community group has been stolen – putting plans for a special memorial garden in jeopardy.

The friends group of St Chads Park bought and installed the £800 bench last year near to the park’s Japan Road entrance, to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Using the remainder of an historic council grant, the group were planing to open a dedicated garden later this year, but group chairman Terry Justice, 79, of Ashton Gardens, admits they must now choose between replacing the bench and financing the new memorial.

“To say I was disappointed when the bench was stolen would be a massive understatement,” he said.

“We worked very hard to get it and spent a lot of money, and these irresponsible people have just taken it away for a cheap profit – I can’t see anyone taking it for their garden.”

Designed to commemorate the fallen of past wars, the memorial garden would feature a collection of poppies and contain a pair of inscribed stones to mark the borough’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

With no sign of the bench being returned, Tony had a message for those responsible for the theft.

“Have a second thought and return it,” he said. “There won’t be any punishment.

“Just bring it back, or leave it somewhere and tell the police.

“I don’t want recriminations, I just want the bench back.”


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