Orbitas, Bereavement Services, proud to accept memorial seat from Crewe Men in Sheds

July 2018

A tale of 3 seats

Joe Ashton, Shed Co-ordinator, Crewe Men in Sheds recalls the tale:

“Following the bombing in Manchester, the guys wanted to do something practical rather than send a card, flowers or a monetary donation so when, Neil Macdonald suggested that they donate a memorial planter to the city of Manchester, this was welcomed but as always the guys like to think “out of the box” and Chris Lomas, also a member of Crewe Men in Sheds suggested that the planter be combined with a bench.   This ticked all the boxes for them, and the bench was completed within the week.  The guys waited and waited for Manchester to get back to them but after three months, they were getting impatient and so asked in Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School would like to be the recipient, they were of course more than happy to accept.   No sooner had the bench been donated then Manchester responded with they news that they would be delighted to accept.  The guys quickly got together and made the second one.

Weeks passed and still no further news from Manchester, so the bench was offered to Crewe Town Council, who felt that the best place for the bench would be in Crewe Cemetery.  Orbitas were extremely enthusiastic about being approached and arrangements were made for it to be in situ on Friday 6 July. No sooner was this agreed then Manchester got back to us with a date and time for accepting the bench.  So this meant a third and final bench was made, which is the one at Crewe Cemetery. Although the making of the benches was a team project the men who have done most of the work are Chris Lomas, John Briggs, Alan Bettany, Alaric Hissey (who did the bee detail) and Paul Farr.

Councillor David Marren, Chairman, Orbitas Bereavement Services said:

“I am amazed at the thought, detail and workmanship that has gone into making of this bench, these men are really remarkable, and we are proud to have been asked to place this touching memorial seat in Crewe cemetery.   I am particularly impressed with the consideration to detail even down to the 11 studs each side of the Manchester Bee, which commemorate those who lost their lives in the Manchester bombing.   I am sure that the Mayor of Cheshire East, Councillor Lesley Smetham and the Mayor of Crewe, Councillor Brian Roberts, will remember this day for a long time to come.
He added:

“Following the acceptance of the seat, I had an opportunity to talk to some of those who had been involved in making it, I was frankly astounded at their passion and commitment to this project but more so of their modesty about their skill set.”

Crewe Men in Sheds was launched in January 2011, and is part of a project started by Age UK Cheshire in Autumn 2008.  It aims to give over 50s men somewhere to go, to make new friends whilst also providing an opportunity to learn new skills such as woodworking, or just chat over a cuppa!!

For anyone interested in joining the Shed is open Monday to Thursday from 10.00 am – 4.00 pm.  For more information, please call 01606 884924.