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Monday, 25 September 2006

Ian Dury Memorial Bench - An Appeal...

I know I've put posts like this up before as pisstakes, but for once I'm not mucking about.

Howesey posted on the comments for the last item that the solar-powerered Ian Dury memorial bench in Richmond Park (I know, it really *does* sound like a spoof, but what can I do?? Click the link if you don't believe me....) has fallen into some disrepair. Howesey tried to find out who was responsible for the upkeep of what - I'm sure many readers will agree - is that rare thing: a suitable and moving tribute to a much-loved public figure that you aren't filled with the urge to urinate on or inscribe with the phrase "new Labour tit-wank" or similar.

The bench is supposed to enable visitors to the spot to listen to tracks by and an interview with the great man and, although it was a while since since he says he last visited and found the seat in less than pukka condition and not in working order, call me a world weary old cynic but something tells me that Howesey would probably find the same to be the case if he went back there today. This might not be the case, so obviously if anybody has been there recently and can comment on the state of the bench, I'd be most grateful.

But if there is indeed a problem, I for one feel we should do whatever we can to redress the situation. Howesey said he'd been unable to establish who was reponsible for the memmorial and the BBC piece I've linked here doesn't offer much help. There's this on Ian's website, again, there's not a huge amount of info other than that it was a donation by Warner Chappell Music - so I suppose they may be worth a punt. Also, I found this link to Pavilion, the company set up by the designer of the bench, Mil Stricevic. So they may be worth contacting if need be.

I know a lot of people who read this thing and with whom I've discussed music are massive Ian Dury fans - indeed, he seems to be a rare constant. I'd be really grateful if anyone out there can help to establish either of the points above. If there is something that needs to be done, I really feel we should do all we can to do sure that someone who looms large in so many of our musical lives is remembered as he should be. I am more than happy to chase it up, but it would be nice to go there with a few more voices of support behind me, if for no other reason than to show how much we care for Ian's legacy.

Many thanks,

Bob

*****************UPDATE********************

Ro-Mo went all Esther Rantzen and:

The slightly tired sounding young man at Richmond Park main office sounded slightly baffled that anyone actually cared but said that he would call the subcontractors straight away and get them to fix it within the week. I'll go and check it at the weekend. Pity them if it's not working! I was a bit naughty and said that I was there last week and after months of trying I was very upset to dsicover that it was still not working. I reckon its 50/50 as to whether anything will get done....

So, fingers crossed. GO RO-MO!!



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9 comments:

  1. For your info Bob, i got no response from Warner Chappell, but never realistically expected one i guess. To get something done about this would be a great gesture and I think we should move heaven and earth to get it fixed.

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  2. I heartily agree. Maybe we should organise something at the Academy...
    Whereabouts is it in RP anyway?

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  3. as you enter Pembroke Lodge gardens from the car park, turn right and keep going through a gazebo and it's in a kind of rose garden. I think it is before King Henry's mound. It's a normal looking bench, inscribed Reasons To Be Cheerful with little solar panels in the armrests.

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  4. I'll call Royal Parks this morning and see where I get to.

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  5. Bench update:
    The slightly tired sounding young man at Richmond Park main office sounded slightly baffled that anyone actually cared but said that he would call the subcontractors straight away and get them to fix it within the week. I'll go and check it at the weekend. Pity them if it's not working! I was a bit naughty and said that I was there last week and after months of trying I was very upset to dsicover that it was still not working. I reckon its 50/50 as to whether anything will get done....

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  6. I officially bestow Goddess status to Rockmother. Ipso facto santus interuptus, Amen etc.

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  7. Oh please! Mr Rigsby - I mean Mr Howesy - it was nothing really. I'll keep on them as well - it's terrible that Ian's bench should be left like that and it's there for a reason and importantly, for memory - there's no point and it's rather insulting if it is just left like that. It should be maintained just like everything else in the park.

    Rant(zen) over. Back to 'working from home;!

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  8. Fancy neglecting that. Arseholes. Bastards. You know the rest.

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