This week, has seen a happy and very welcome ‘coming-together’ of a Ventnor community fund-raising and memorial project known as Daphne’s Bench. It heralds the culmination of three years’ planning and work, since the passing of a much beloved local lady, Daphne Carter.
Daphne, as those who knew her will remember, lived for a considerable time in Dudley Rd, and was one of the town’s many colourful characters. She lived a quiet life, but was nonetheless passionate about her garden, Art and Community health and projects.
She was once herself an Art therapist in the earlier days of its pioneering benefits. She never failed to keep her interests going on that score, and was writing about her experiences and her life memoirs for her wider family up to her death.
Love affair with the town
Daphne was involved in the Community Cafe projects, and had been a keen active local photographer and amateur sound recordist for the duration of her life in Ventnor.
Her photographic albums, in particular, were testament to a love affair with the town she had eventually retired to, and with the people and events that were endemic to life here.
Photo collection donated to the Library
Shortly before Daphne died, she had kindly donated her albums to the Library and, in conjunction with John Carter and the Heritage Centre, funding was acquired to digitise her photos which could be considered a valuable social-historic documentary of the ever-changing face of a local seaside community, alongside the more static but iconic Victorian features of the town.
Handcrafted by great nephew
Daphne’s bench lovingly handcrafted and carved by her great nephew Ed, is now situated in a beautiful and accessible spot, ideal for Winter Sunsets. It lies at the bottom of the Dudley Rd steps, leading down on to the coastal path, thus on the seaward side of Salisbury Gardens (below the Council offices). It has been carved out of oak and sweet chestnut, so should need no maintenance and will silver down nicely.
A QR Code has also been placed on one side, which will enable mobile phone users (once tapped on), to access Daphne’s photos on the ‘Ventnor Remembered’ website.
Enjoy a few peaceful moments there
So, do enjoy a few peaceful moments there….and, who knows….you may see yourself, family or friends, in a photo that will hopefully jog wonderful memories! Happy Musing, everyone!
Thanks, for helping me to bring the project together, go to:
Ventnor Town Council, Brian (our stalwart TC handyman ), Nick Cook, John Carter, Peter Ewbank and Lucy Boynton (photographer)……and, of course, all those who knew and loved Daphne as a friend, and those who kindly contributed to the fundraising.
A big Thankyou to you all! Here’s to a Merry Christmas, and a much brighter, healthier year ahead!
News shared by Fran Parnell-Thomas in her own words. Ed