Budleigh coronation bench to go

A bench which has been in Budleigh Salterton since Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne is to go after it was deemed beyond repair. The coronation bench’s commemorative plaque will be retained by the town.

The wooden seat, bought to mark Queen Elizabeth II coming to the throne, has been repaired many times.

Now the bench has been deemed by the district council as ‘beyond repair’ and no longer financially viable to maintain.

Budleigh Salterton Town Council plans to replace the historic seat and has requested the coronation plaque engraved on the original bench is retained for the town.

In a letter to Budleigh Salterton Town Council, from East Devon District Council, a parks development officer, said he ‘understood’ how residents could have developed sentimental feelings about the bench, which has stood at the site since 1953.

The letter said: “Following an inspection from our maintenance operative, he considered that, in his opinion, the seat was beyond repair and considered not financially viable to attempt another repair.

“I do understand that it is a coronation seat and some people might not like the idea of its removal, however, as with anything, it only has a lifespan of so long.”

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Replacing the bench could cost more than �350 and will fall under the responsibility of the town council.

The town will also be responsible for maintaining the new seat.

Budleigh will also have to pay for any engraving.

The district council has agreed to remove the old bench.

The two seats placed in the bays at the lower end of The Green will continue to be maintained by the district council.