Council restores Betty’s pride and joy

Cheshire East CouncilCheshire East Council has come to the aid of an elderly lady after her family’s memorial bench was thrown off a bridge into a lake.

Betty Cooke, 85, was distraught when she saw what the vandals had done in Queens Park, Crewe.

The bench was installed in memory of Betty’s daughter Susan, who moved to Australia and died of a brain tumour in 2002.

It was Susan’s dying wish to have a bench installed to enable others to enjoy the park she loved so much and to have her ashes scattered there.

After reading about Betty’s plight, local businessman Andrew McGarrigle offered to sponsor a replacement in conjunction with Ansa, Cheshire East Council’s operating company for grounds maintenance and streetscape services.

Betty said:
“I was overwhelmed when I heard about this. I shed many sad tears when I saw that the bench had been destroyed by yobs, but I shed tears of joy when I discovered that the local community could be so kind.”

Cllr David ToppingCouncillor David Topping, Cheshire East Council’s Cabinet member for service commissioning said:
“Queens Park staff know Betty well from her regular visits to sit on the bench and contemplate on the past.
They were deeply dismayed at the actions of these mindless yobs, so it was important for us to try to support her.
We were delighted and touched when a kind sponsor came forward. We are grateful to everyone who has helped to replace the bench.
We sincerely hope that Betty and her family will continue to be regular visitors to the park.”

The bench will be put back as it was on a path leading from the clock to the Pickle Jar pavilion, complete with a plaque that reads ‘We will meet at the park’.

Elaine Webster, Development Manager, Parks and Grounds at Ansa Environmental Services, together with sponsors Mr McGarrigle and Tommy McCaughan, presented the bench to Betty, who was accompanied by her daughter Tracey Cooke and grandson Stephen Heath.

Memorial and sponsored benches are obtainable from Queens Park. Please contact Elaine Webster at

Source: Cheshire East Council

Bettys bench

Presentation of Betty’s bench