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Good ideas #1

Dedication on a bench at Selsey; I selected this one because of the unusual birth place.

First in a series about good ideas...

When my Dad died a few years ago, I called the local town council and asked if I could sponsor a bench in his name, to be put on the sea front. They said that there was a 5-year waiting list! Hmm, that sounded difficult...

On this long stroll, I've walked past thousands of dedicated benches, and have been thinking about the problem that there are more people interested in sponsoring benches than the number of bench spots. Or rather, instead of thinking, I've been seeing different solutions. One approach is to sponsor something else apart from benches; I like the example of trees, as with this park near Weymouth.

A park near Weymouth, with sponsored trees.

Another approach is to have many dedications around one item, as in the two pictures below.

Multiple dedications above a bench in Lyme Regis

A highly dedicated - and rather beautiful - boatful of flowers, near Exmouth.

But the approach which I like best, because it is practical, flexible and can accommodate really large numbers of dedications for all sorts of purposes, is illustrated below. Walk along the quay at Gosport and you'll see thousands of names set into bricks. This is attractive and enables celebration of individuals for all sorts of purposes - graduation, good teaching, anniversaries and for those who've passed away.

Thousands of names set into the quay at Gosport make for an attractive walk and give recognition to many.

Finally, back to my Dad. After telling me about the 5 year wait, the town's bench organizer mentioned that by coincidence he had been walking on the golf course earlier that day and had seen a spot for a bench there, instead of the sea front. Perfect! My Dad played many happy round of golf on that course. Two months later the bench was installed in a secluded spot overlooking the fifth hole on Seaford golf course.

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