Beloved bench in town's riverside beauty spot vandalised

"Only a monster would do this."

A parent and her child sit on the vandalised bench over looking Falcon Meadow. Resident of Wingfield Street: "Only a monster would do this." - Credit: Katie Utting

A handcrafted bench which was designed to compliment the natural environment of the River Waveney has been vandalised.

Inspired by the curves of the river, furniture maker Tom Jones designed the bench to incorporate two elongated curves – known as a serpentine curve. 

Mr Jones said he was "saddened" by the vandalism to his craftmanship

He said: ”I'm saddened by what happened.

"I enjoyed creating this piece and a great deal of, though and effort went into reflecting the shape of the river in the design."

The vandalised bench with its seating smashed to pieces.

The vandalised bench with its seating smashed to pieces. - Credit: Katie Utting

Tom said he may be able to repair the bench as he has managed to retrieve the majority of the bits that have been pulled off and thrown in to the river. 

vandalised bench seat tossed into the river

Vandalised bench seat smashed off and recklessly and carelessly tossed into the river. - Credit: Katie Utting

"I would like to say to those people that regularly enjoy evenings spent at that peaceful end of the meadow.

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"We need help to make this area a decent place to be for everyone in in the Falcon Meadow Community.

"If you come here regularly out of choice you must like it.

"Help us keep it special for yourselves and everyone else, don't ruin it.

"It just makes no sense," he said. 

The bench was 12ft long, built from solid oak slats which formed the back and seat of the bench, shined with a natural oil to make the wood glisten. 

Sutton Timber

The 12 ft long bench in all it's glory just after it was built in 2012, as craftsman Tom Jones and fellow Sutton Timber worker carry it across the Staithe. - Credit: Sutton Timber

The bench's frame is anchored down by 60mm stainless steel angle iron rods.

The supporting rods are driven deep into the ground to maintain maximum stability. 

Katie Utting, Falcon Meadow Community Trust Trustee and local resident from Wingfield Street said: "It's such a shame that a small minority of people don't respect public property.

"This will cost money to replace and is very upsetting to those of us who love the meadow," she said.

The bridge was tactfully positioned downstream from the bridge at the Staithe to encourage visitors to walk along the river bank and appreciate the views of the meadow beyond.