Buck Beck Beach Bench: Cleethorpes bench built by community destroyed by arsonists

The bench was made up of plaques and memorials honouring much-loved members of the community. Credit: Suzanne Hood

A bench in Cleethorpes built by the community using driftwood has been burnt down in a "pointless act of vandalism".

The iconic Buck Beck Beach Bench was destroyed in a suspected arson attack at around 10pm on Tuesday, 23 May.

The bench had been built by visitors to the beach and made up of plaques paying tribute to people in the community.

Nick Albion, who runs the Buck Beck Beach Bench Facebook group, told ITV Calendar: "The bench meant so much to so many and for many different reasons.

"It was a place to repair mental health, a place couple’s proposed, a place dogs loved to run and a place to remember people.

"Not until we have lost something do we see its inherent value for a community."

Mr Albion helped to build the bench in 2015 with his father-in-law Roger Crawford, who died less than three months ago.

A plaque for Mr Crawford was carved into the bench, alongside tributes to other people who visited and to dogs who would play on the beach.

Roger Crawford and his son-in-law helped to build the bench in 2015. Credit: Buck Beck Beach Bench Facebook

Mr Albion added: "This is not my bench, it is yours. I will never let mindless idiots spoil something so many hold dear.

"Cleethorpians are gathering drift wood to rebuild the bench.

By the weekend I promise no matter how small you will have somewhere to sit in that location again. Operation Pheonix is a go."

A team of people have said they will work together to repair the bench. Credit: Buck Beck Beach Bench Facebook

Members of the public have commented their support for the bench and expressed their outrage at the suspected vandalism.

Rebecca Jervis commented: "My children are in tears hearing the news. This is mindless - it’s such a beautiful calming mindful place to visit.

"It saddens my heart that someone could do this."

Suzanne Hood added that she had scattered some of her husband's ashes at the bench.

Meanwhile, Samantha Willett said: "I feel so sorry for all those who lost memoriams, I got proposed to there on a plaque and it's all been destroyed.

"A whole community built that place."

A Humberside Fire and Rescue spokesperson said: "Crews have attended a fire at Buck Beck Bench this evening in Cleethorpes on Meridian Road.

"Please be aware of how deliberate fires can cause community anguish."

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