Seat renovated

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A wooden seat on Ludlow’s Whitcliffe Common, installed in memory of a long-time supporter, has been renovated.
The seat looks northward from its site above the old quarry and was erected some years ago in memory of the late Ray Sykes.
Mr Sykes, a Ludlow accountant, was a long time supporter of the Friends of Whitcliffe Common, the volunteer group which cares for the common in association with its leaseholders Shropshire Wildlife Trust.
He began his connection when the group was the former Whitcliffe Commoners Association. He audited its books free of charge from then until his retirement over 20 years later.
Mr Sykes was also instrumental in helping the group meet the cost of two major projects through his role as controller of a trust set up to aid local causes.
The first was a donation towards the cost of the work needed to restore the damage done by the storms of 2007.
The second was a larger donation which enabled the then now FOWC to complete the £70,000 revetment of the riverbank which was threatening to undercut the famous Breadwalk.
When he died the charity decided to install the seat as a memorial to him. Over the years it had deteriorated and the decision was made recently to renovate it.
This has now been done with the assistance of Graeme Perks, the town council’s representative on the FOWC Trustees, who is a skilled woodworker.
“I had an old railway sleeper in my garage which belonged to my son Harry. He had obtained it for something but it never got used. It has proved perfect for renovating Ray’s seat,” said Graeme.
Chair Daphne Jones said, “We are very grateful to Graeme for doing this work. Ray was a much-respected supporter of our group. We are delighted that it will continue to remind walkers on Whitcliffe of the debt the common owes to people like Ray.”

PHOTO: The photograph shows the memorial seat being replaced. On the left is FOWC vice chairman Harvey Griffiths and on the right volunteer group co-ordinator Rick Summers. In the centre Graeme Perks, who carried out the renovation work, shows the damage time had done to part of the original seat.