Train driver to the stars* and all round sexy-mo-fo-former-postman to the stars**, Howesy has posted up an update on the state of Ian's memorial in Richmond Park.
It seems that, although there's been an improvement, things still aren't quite as we'd want them.
Anyroad, I wrote the following to Pavilion Design, the people who came up with the idea for the bench:
Hi Mil and Bob,
I’m writing on behalf of a few cyber friends (as well as music lovers the world over) to advise you that the bench you created to honour the memory of much loved singer Ian Dury has fallen into some state of disrepair. This is a post a friend put up recently describing the current condition of the memorial:
This is an update as to the condition of the bench in Poet's Corner, Pembroke Lodge, Richmond Park, where Ian Dury liked to go in the last stages of his illness.... The last time I visited, one of the feeds was working, the other headphone socket had been damaged. This time, both headphone sockets were okay, but something else was wrong and the audio wasn't running. I don't know how it works exactly, but I wonder if the solar panels feed batteries which power the audio loops? Could the batteries be knackered? The bench is decorated with little plaques saying the bench is sponsored by Warner/Chappell music, I contacted them to report the damage about 2 years ago and heard nothing. Maybe we should try them again to get this fixed? It's a lovely memorial in a lovely part of the park, and it's such a shame that it hasn't survived very well.
(Please click on the link below to read the full post and see a recent photo of the bench.)
There was a lot of interest from readers of our blogs concerning the lack of upkeep of the bench. A friend spoke to Richmond parks department a few weeks back and they promised action which may well have been forthcoming as some of the initial problems seem to have been resolved, but there is obviously still a problem with the audio content of the installation.
I realise that the bench is a long way from your base in Glasgow and probably no longer the responsibility of your company, but I would ask you on behalf of the many people who expressed an interest in the memorial to do anything you can to help restore the bench to working order through liaising with Richmond parks department or other relevant agency.
I am enormously grateful for you taking the time to look into this.
Let's hope that they can come up with something...
* i.e. Vince Hill, Bamber Gascoigne, and other well-known celebrities who might conceivably "let the train take the strain", as we all used to say - you know, he doesn't drive a train that goes to, for instance, the crab nebula or anything. Well, not yet, anyroad.
**Well, Kate O'Mara...
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