Bench unveiling marks opening of new Havering green way

The unveiling of a special bench in Harold Hill marked the opening of a new green route through Havering.

The bench, featuring three famous Havering-ites, is a focal point of a 13-mile long walk and cycle route through the borough.

The first part runs from Dagnam Park, through Central Park, and as far as the A12.

The route, to be completed in three stages, is due to be finished in 2013 and stretches from Harold Hill to the River Thames in Rainham.

As part of the celebrations organised by Havering Council, on Saturday May 14, there were guided walks and cycle rides along the route.

Havering Council leader, Cllr Michael White, officially unveiled the seat - dubbed the portrait bench in Central Park.

It features:

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• Harry Norman Eccleston OBE – who designed the D-series banknotes, which started in 1970 and was withdrawn through the late 80s and 90s. He lived in Harold Hill.

• Dick Bouchard MBE – founder of the Romford Drum and Trumpet Corps which is now based in Harold Hill.

• Henry VIII – historical King of England who acquired the manor of Prygo in 1541 and hunted in the local area.

Dick Bouchard was present, and the Romford Drum and Trumpet Corps performed to a crowd of around 150 people.

Billy Stanbridge, who nominated his great-grandfather Harry Eccleston, also attended “It is really nice to see my great granddad celebrated in my local park,” he said. “I am glad that everyone will now know him, as they will all have carried a piece of his art in their pocket, I’m very proud of him.”

The route is funded by Sustrans after it secured �50million from the Big Lottery Fund to extend the National Cycle Network.