I thought I might mention the wonderful bench that now sits on our village green as a tribute to Ben Hiscox, who was taken from us so tragically and prematurely just a few short months ago. Behind it, decorated by flowers, stands a lovely apple blossom tree. They represent a constant reminder of a great son, partner and friend.

I am pleased to say that people are using the seat to sit on, which of course is what a bench is for. Yesterday, on a beautiful late summer’s day, I saw an elderly couple on the bench, chatting away happily and enjoying the view. Just a few weeks ago, in the very early hours of a Saturday morning, when returning from our holiday, I saw a group of youngsters, maybe four or five of them, sitting on the seat, quite possibly having a late can of something alcoholic. The latter made me smile and think of the cheeky rascal Ben who would surely have approved of this. Who could possibly deny that the man himself would not have been sitting on such a bench after a long evening with his friends?

As soon as the bench idea was suggested, I got it right away. Ben’s memory will remain forever, but in this bench, at the very heart of our community, there is now a permanent memorial. I have sat on the bench on numerous occasions in recent weeks, to reflect, just to chat, to read my newspaper. It’s there for people to remember, it’s for people to enjoy.

Time, they say, is a great healer and to an extent that’s true. But we cannot, must not and indeed will not forget a special person.

The bench makes me think of Ben Hiscox and when I think of Ben Hiscox and that great big toothy grin, it makes me smile again. We were never going to forget him anyway but just in case we take the memory for granted, there is always that special bench and tree to remind us.