Memorial petition a victory benchmark

Stonehaven's war memorial is a place for reflection and remembrance.
Stonehaven's war memorial is a place for reflection and remembrance.

A Stonehaven family who launched a petition to have a memorial bench replaced at the town’s war memorial have been successful.

The family of Jackie Poole, who was killed in a tragic accident at a supermarket in the town 25 years ago, were left devastated when the bench which had stood near the war memorial for 20 years was removed by the council after falling into disrepair.

The family were told the bench would not be replaced, and launched a petition to challenge the decision.

A council spokesperson told the Mearns Leader earlier this month that discussions were “ongoing,” and they were considering local opinion.

Family member Yan Tennant revealed the happy news last week on the petition site: “Hello all, great news the council have now agreed to let the family buy a bench and place it back at the war memorial. I doubt this would have happened without everyone’s support. Thank you so much.”

The victory does not seem to have come easily, however, as the local authority originally told the family that they could purchase a new bench, but it would need to be placed elsewhere in Stonehaven.

Mr Tennant explained: “I contacted the council to obtain a further update on the bench as I had read through an article on the Mearns Leader Facebook page which stated that the council were now in discussion about the bench, which was news to me.

“So I contacted the council again and I was advised, after a very strange initial conversation with the principal officer, that the council were in discussion and if I wanted, I could buy the new bench and place it somewhere else in Stonehaven, just not at the memorial.

‘‘The reasoning behind this was that people had complained about the number of benches and that the land was very expensive and that it was a memorial for those who lost their lives in the war.

“The memorial was paid for by the community of Stonehaven through fund raising and donations and the land gifted to the people of the town, and was built to look in disrepair to be symbolic of incomplete lives.”

Mr Tennant thanked everyone who helped make the petition a success, and those who left messages of support.”