Saturday, 14 September 2013

In Memory Of Ray

A new seat has appeared just outside Green Lane School this week. It was put in on Wednesday afternoon  (11th September) and will no doubt provide rest for those walking up to the stables or through to Motspur Park or for weary parents as they wait to pick up their children from the school. Hopefully it will be appreciated by many people long into the future.

Because this is not just another convenience put in by the council. This seat bares a plaque that touches on the recent history of the area. This is the memorial for Ray Bunce.

No doubt people many years from now will read the plaque and wonder who this Mr Bunce was; perhaps trying to picture some chap being friendly around the area; wondering, as I have done with similar plaques, who he might have been to have such a statement written about him. Perhaps they might, just for a moment try to picture his grieving widow and family in an effort to try to reach the human being that once lived and was known by the name of Ray Bunce.

I think it would be fair to say that he made his presence felt. Like many people I knew of him through his regular letters to the Sutton Guardian Local paper before I met the man behind those letters. While I did not know him well, I liked and respected the person I had come to know a little. I understand he was not a great fan of this blog but things change and I hope that given more time he would have warmed to it a little more.

After Ray died in November last year, the Sutton Guardian wrote a short piece about him. You can read that here if you would like more information.

This bench was paid for and put in by Sutton Council thanks to the Cheam North and Worcester Park local committee. It was chosen in consultation with the three Worcester Park ward councillors and Ray’s widow Evelyn. If you sit on this bench and look at the crossing and large pencil themed bollards directly in front of you, you can thank Ray Bunce for them being there. He campaigned passionately for safety measures in the local area, especially where children were concerned.

Every person influences their local environment a little but it would be fair to say that Worcester Park would a noticeably different place if it were not for Ray Bunce.

If people ponder briefly over the plaque in years to come they may or may not guess as to some of the things he did in life. And while they will be sure he made an important difference, they can never really know who Ray Bunce really was. That is unfortunately the special privilege only of those who actually knew him; those who I'm sure are all proud to have done so and will be proud to be reminded of him and his influence whenever they go up past Green Lane School.