Memorial bench dumped in sea by vandals

Part of a bench lying discarded on the beach just below the Sally Pier and Square Tower.
Part of a bench lying discarded on the beach just below the Sally Pier and Square Tower.

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A MEMORIAL bench was thrown in the sea by vandals at the Hot Walls in Old Portsmouth.

And for three days, it has been left on the beach below the Portsmouth Square Tower, despite the council being informed about it.

David Alcindor, who lives opposite the Square Tower in Battery Row, reported it on Tuesday and thinks the authority should have acted sooner.

He said: ‘I’m very disappointed. We are all paying our council tax and we expect the area to be kept nice, especially with Ben Ainslie Racing coming here.

‘But it looks like the council can’t even look after the area as it is.’

The bench has the inscription ‘In memory of Ted, a lifelong friend of Albert Baines. Presented by his daughter Pamela Griffiths in 1965’.

Mr Alcindor, 43, said he couldn’t move the bench himself and told the council it was there as he feared it might be swept away or injure children playing nearby.

‘I was worried that the tide was coming in so I sent an email straight off and got the standard response that the email was received,’ he said.

‘I was walking past again on Thursday and thought I would go down and check to see if it was still there.’

He discovered that the back of the bench was still sitting on some rocks next to the pier, along with a newly-discarded bike.

‘It was really disappointing. If you’d paid a lot of money for something in memory of a relative and the council don’t seem to care about it,’ said David.

A council spokesperson said: ‘On Monday council staff spotted the seat of this bench on the shore, apparently torn off by vandals and thrown down. They retrieved it and kept it so the bench could be repaired.

‘On Tuesday Mr Alcindor kindly let us know that the back of the bench was now on the shore.

‘We can’t always react immediately to reports, but our contractors Colas were alerted to it. They plan to collect the back of the bench – and the bike – today (Friday) when the tide allows. The bench will, of course, be repaired and replaced.

‘As Mr Alcindor reported this using our website, he automatically received an acknowledgment, with our thanks. We were waiting until we had more information to give him before sending him personal feedback, which we did earlier today (Friday).