Crofton Park Community Benches Stolen

That is disgusting, but not surprising. When I worked at Fairlawn School we had benches stolen many moons ago. Makes the bench’s in the garden more poignant as they had tribute plaques on them. I think the school actually had the replacement benches nailed to the ground. Let’s hope whoever has stolen them is made to feel thoroughly ashamed of themselves. :slightly_frowning_face:

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Coverage from NewsShopper:

A Met Police spokeswoman confirmed no arrests have been made and no further police action will be taken about the theft of the benches.

How awful. Not only is it in memorial of someone’s relative but is also part of much needed outside, community space.
Genuine question too (I’m probably being naive here) but what makes someone steal a wooden park bench? To sell on? Is there a market for second hand benches or scrap wood? Are they in such dire need of a wooden bench themselves they needed to steal one? Or is it sheer mindless vandalism?

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I don’t know the answer to that - I do wonder if replacements can be more solidly secured to the ground however as most benches seem to be. Must be horrible for the families, especially as the deaths are so recent.

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Really sad but I suspect the thieves couldn’t care less.

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A fund raiser has been setup to replace the stolen benches:

https://croftonparkrailwaygarden.org.uk/blog/2019/07/20/fundraising-to-replace-our-stolen-furniture/

We will of course bolt and secure any garden furniture in the future so that hopefully this will not reoccur. To note here that we already had the bolts for the benches but were waiting on certain snagging issues with the ground level to be resolved by the contractors before we went ahead with this work. Alas, someone got to our benches first, something we still find incredulous given how big and heavy they all were.

The actual donation page is here:

https://croftonparkrailwaygarden.org.uk/donate/

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Their target fundraising goal is 25k. Is that really what these cost!!??

Edit: answering my own question - reading further it seems the total is the amount of funds they are attempting to raise to fund a range of projects for the garden.

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They do mention a number of other things they want to do apart from replace the benches, CCTV, trellis, hedging etc but £25k does sound steep I must admit - I wonder if it’s a typo.

Edit sorry @beige posts crossed.

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PLEASE FIND IT IN YOUR HEART TO HELP THIS WORTHWHILE COMMUNITY FUNDRAISER.
£740 Raised - 25% of £3000 Target

( this post replaces an earlier one which I shared at stupid o’clock in the morning! - apologies if I came over a bit ‘hyper’! )

About two weeks previous I noted a post shared by Lionel Stanhope via facebook group ‘Telegraph Hill Noticeboard’ It described the theft of the two benches, and their significance. I was so angry and responded with a comment, added to so many that expressed sympathy etc. I really wanted to do something practical and offered to arrange a crowdfunder, fortunately I was able to make connection with and speak to Aldo Piscina who featured in some recent News Shopper interviews.

So I was most heartened when Aldo informed me that Crofton Park Railway Garden had created a special £3k fundraiser to cover replacement of the benches and more.

Before making this donation I wanted to visit the garden to feel the vibe, images available seemed quite scarce, on 26th July I spent over an hour the garden and was BLOWN AWAY! What a beautiful creation, so thoughtfully designed. Having noted the before and after photos I can’t begin to imagine how much effort was involved and just shows how much this garden means to the community.

For me experiencing this stunning community garden was ‘love at first sight’ and perfectly completed the third component of my quite recent quest - a reason for being here on planet earth, which is very simple: “To be ‘involved’ with the local and wider community and NOT to expect anything in return.”

My third ( everything for me seems to go in three’s, including waiting for a bus! ) and FINAL suicide attempt was on May 3rd, it was only on June 1st that I finally started to see some light at the end of the tunnel - June 16th was a huge turning point, all thanks to a lovely neighbour Neville I was invited to a weekly 10.30am service at The Salvation Army on the Green Nunhead, this changed my life and on the same day I had my first encounter with The Hill Station Community Cafe, Telegraph Hill.

Both the Sally Army ( my vision had been people wearing old fashioned hats singing Christmas carols - the reality could not be more different ) and the Community Cafe not only changed my life but in large part are responsible for literally saving my life.

I just wanted one more part to make it the three, and sure enough The Crofton Park Railway Garden is the ideal complement - I love gardening, and is run very much as a community project.

I have already made informal connections between the Sally Army & The Cafe, and hope the Railway Garden could also benefit from joining this ‘circle.’ If different communities can somehow work together rather than in isolation, I feel the mutual benefits can be so much greater.

I also am a firm believer that positives always comes out of a negative. The response ( and not just in monetary terms ) to this appeal has so far been terrific, and just proves that local communities INCLUDING businesses really do care when bad stuff happens. If it was not for the thefts maybe this lovely Community Garden may not have come up on my radar.

PLEASE DONATE – SHARE – VISIT – VOLUNTEER – ‘GET INVOLVED’ - SPREAD THE WORD

https://croftonparkrailwaygarden.org.uk/donate/