A new bench has been unveiled at Hawthorne Park in Thornton in memory of a much loved and respected dog walker, Ted Mackelt.
Ted, who was a firm favourite with dog owners and their pets in the park, died in April.
Jenie Phillips, secretary of Hawthorne Park Trust, said: “The dog owners felt that Ted had been such a focus for friendship, they asked the Hawthorne Park Trust for permission to organise a bench as a reminder of the way Ted had cheered people up, paid for by his widow Ada.
“Geoff Whitley was commissioned to make the beautiful carved bench which is now in the wildlife area, which was Ted’s favourite place.”
A member of the Friends of Hawthorne Park,Jan Redmond, met Ted through walking her Jack Russell, Millie.
Here, she explains the beauty of Hawthorne Park and the tribute to Ted:
The park offers space for the meeting of families and friends to walk and talk,exercise and play games, for planned celebrations and family occasions.
The area is a joy, with its paths and green space.
There’s the rough beauty of nature for wild plants,small animals and birds to thrive in.
Importantly there’s a large safe fenced area for small children. They learn to share and play together,wear themselves out and make as much noise as they want.
It’s a place where technology isn’t necessary – just imagination.
Plus it offers our community the amazing health benefits of fresh air and exercise.
Hawthorne Park is a people’s place where loneliness, the enemy of old and young alike, can be averted.
It offers friendship if you’re new to the area or just feel alone. Sit on a bench, smile and someone will smile back, sit and talk to you. Especially if you have a dog!
Lots of people are brought together on Hawthorne Park by dog waking or in some cases sitting.
One such elderly gentleman Ted Mackelt, a much loved character in Thornton,brought together so many people, dog walkers and their dogs by doing just that.
He always sat on the same bench in the wild area with his Spaniel Shep and he always had dog biscuits in his pocket.
People just graduated towards him. He was also a fund of knowledge on the area and its history. Ted was known affectionately as Ted Biscuit and he knew all the dogs’ names. In fact you were known by your dog’s name!
Ted passed away in April this year and to commemorate the strong bonds between all who use the park, a bench has been placed in the wildlife area with the name Ted Biscuit carved alongside the Hawthorne Park logo.
Just sit on Ted’s bench,smile and someone is sure to join you for a chat.