Council presents couple with bench they used to court on 48 years ago
A couple have saved for posterity the “love seat” park bench on which they did their innocent courting as teenagers more than half a century ago.
Marjorie and David Edwards whispered sweeth nothings on the cast iron bench at a pictureque riverside beauty spot in Chester.
For 58 years the pair have been visiting the bench at “The Groves” which overlooks the River Dee, at least twice a week.
But when Cheshire West and Chester Council announced the area was to be renovated Marjorie and David feared their piece of personal history could be lost forever.
That was until they spoke to a site foreman who was overseeing work at The Groves, telling him the story of “their bench” and the true romance it helped nurture.
After hearing the couple’s tale, council chiefs arranged for the bench to be delivered to the Edwards’ home in Plas Newton, Chester.
Marjorie, 79, said the council gesture was “a lovely surprise” on the part of the council and one which will keep many happy memories alive.
She said: “When we heard about The Grove having work done to improve it, we asked about our bench and was told it would probably just end up in a skip.
“But once we told the workers how much it meant to us they really went out of their way to have it dug up delivered to our door.
“When David and I first met we were both working in the Brookhurst Switchgear factory in Chester.
“He was earning three pounds a week so we couldn’t afford to do much, but rain, hail or shine we’d go and visit our bench, I even remember sitting there in the snow.”
The pensioners have been married for 54 years, but began courting at the bench four years before they tied the knot.
Marjorie said sitting on the bench, which has now has pride of place in her back garden, will be a touching reminder of all the time they’ve spent together.
She said: “David’s been away on national service and has worked for 20 years as a milkman, so he’s had plenty of opportunity to run away with another woman!
“But he’s always come back to me and our bench.”
The couple, have two children and four grandchildren said they still enjoy sitting on the bench, but would have to make some slight improvements now they’re not as hardy as they used to be.”
David, 76, added: “Our son is a metallurgist and he has told how good the quality of craftmanship is on this bench. It’s virtually indistructable.
“Hundreds of thousands of people must have sat on it over the year. We were just two of them but it meant so much to us – it is part of our lives and it will stay in our family for good.”
Cllr Lynn Riley on Cheshire West and Chester Council, said staff were so touched by Marjorie and David’s story that to give them the bench was the only thing to do.
She said: “After hearing Marjorie and David’s story we felt there was only one appropriate ending.
“We hope they’re going to have many more happy memories on ‘their’ bench.”