Parks are often places where we each can experience personal memories, both fleeting and life changing. Occasionally we also come across instances where people wish to mark life events important to them, from the unusual such as this ‘pagan’ celebration of spring found some years ago in Bromley Palace Park…..

Straw ‘Beltane’ cross, Bromley Palace Park, February 2017

…or the celebration of a life sadly lost, as in the following found very recently in Church House Gardens. In this latter case it sought to inform us all of life changing issues and how to help overcome them. A very positive message.

Memorial to Polly, Church House Gardens

Of course not all such ‘memorials’ have to be temporary. In several of our town centre parks permanent memorials can be found. From a tree planted in celebration of a town twinning (Bromley Palace Park), or an anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II (Queen’s Garden), or indeed the opening of the park itself in 1900 (Queen’s Garden).

Plaque celebrating ‘The Queen’s Garden’ opening in 1900

Alternatively on a more personal level, a tree or memorial bench for a much-loved family member. The latter can be found in a number of our parks often linked to that person. Unfortunately this can sometimes create a bit of a problem, with some favoured spaces becoming potentially overwhelmed with them. So in each case we and the parks administration endeavour to work sympathetically, with the family requesting such a memorial. These benches can be expensive to both install and maintain, so much care is taken on the most appropriate type of bench and its sighting, and so to best satisfy everybody’s needs.

Memorial bench, Martins Hill

So as you take a rest in our parks, please have of look, and if appropriate, why not give a thought about the person whose life is celebrated by the bench you are sitting on.

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