Appeal after memorial bench goes missing from Northumberland coast

The bench in situ at Cullernose Point prior to its removal.
The bench in situ at Cullernose Point prior to its removal.

The family of a Tyneside man is appealing for information after a bench placed in his memory on the coast in north Northumberland disappeared.

The seat, which was situated at Cullernose Point, near Howick, had been installed there in June 2007 by the family of Austin Price, who in his lifetime had a great affection for the Northumberland coastline, and Cullernose Point in particular.

But the family was upset to discover recently that the bench was missing, presumed stolen, leaving only the original ground anchors and a few flattened slabs.

Mr Price’s son, also Austin, contacted the Estate Office at Howick and was told that they are as saddened as he was about the seat’s disappearance. Northumbria Police has also been informed.

It was installed thanks to to the permission of Lady Howick and, following advice from Northumberland County Council, the National Trust and Natural England, the bench was placed overlooking the point.

The seat is built of solid iroko timber, chosen for its resilient qualities and weathering to a pewter colour, ensuring it fitted into the surrounding landscape of limestone and whin geology.

Alan Mee designed and built the seat as a tribute to his late friend Austin, who was also a life-long woodworker, and was constructed without a single nail or screw, using pegs for the joints.

Mr Price (junior) said: “It was a fitting tribute to the man who loved the area and the sense of peace it evokes.”