Helping to replace the garden's stolen furniture
The railway garden has now been open to the public for 7 weeks - Mon to Friday 9am to 5pm and has been an outstanding success. It has received universal praise from the whole community and been really well used by families with babies/toddlers and then bringing their older children after school, to local business workers enjoying their lunch break outside, to older people meeting up and sitting on the benches passing the time of day. EVERYONE has loved watching the plants and flowers grow and change whilst listening to the trains stop on the platform with people coming and going.
However all of this beauty and the good feeling generated was shattered last Friday 12th July when the two benches and our beehive composter in the garden were discovered to be STOLEN in BROAD DAYLIGHT! We believe they went missing between 8pm and 9pm Friday evening. When this was first reported on social media on the Saturday morning people were understandably shocked, outraged and angry. Both memorial benches that had been specifically donated by local families. One in memory of Chef Rudi who had so suddenly passed away in March this year and had been jointly funded by the Piscina family and community money plus another by a local resident in memory of a Grandmother and loved ones. Read her lovely post here.
Just over a week has now passed and there has been little development sadly. We finally heard that the insurance is not willing to pay out for the stolen items and we are still very frustratingly waiting to have the CCTV camera footage released and looked at by the police but we have reluctantly had to face the reality that the benches are not miraculously going to reappear.
LOTS of people have been asking how they can help and support/donate money to replace of the benches. The Railway Garden fundraising page is live and active and we hope that people will contribute accordingly in any way they can and want to. Besides the benches and composter there are lots more things needed in the garden to develop it further, including improving the security of the garden. Ideas such as adding a trellis or thorny hedging along the platform edge, cctv inside the garden and fixing the rest of the equipment and furniture. EVERY pound raised will be put to good use so that everyone in the community continues to enjoy this little open space.
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.
Thank you so much for reading this and for any support you can give towards the garden and the stolen furniture. WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT.