An ‘award-winning’ Derbyshire sustainable business making outdoor furniture from recycled plastic is helping tell the stories of those who have passed on, with a new memorial bench digital platform. ×
The QR code can also be used to record information about the place where a bench has been situated, with one of the first examples being Shipley Country Park in Derbyshire. TDP Ltd commercial director Kym Barlow, whose parents Rob and Anne set up the company, said: “We are very excited about our My Place and Story project and we hope that it may provide some comfort to those who want to remember their loved ones with a memorial bench, to know that others can now find out more about their life.
“Memorial benches are a lovely way to remember those who have left us. They give an opportunity for people to sit quietly in a place that person used to visit, and think about the happy times. Here at TDP we have gone one step further and created a digital platform so that people sitting on a memorial bench can, if they choose, find out about a person’s life by simply scanning the code on their phone.
“Everyone deserves to be remembered and we hope that our scheme will allow more memories to be preserved. “We also felt it was important for people to be able to discover more about places they visit, too. The QR Code placed on one of our benches can be used for visitors to places to discover more about where they are, including its history and interesting landmarks.”
One of the first life stories to be commemorated in the benches is former Welsh international rugby player Brian Davies. The bench commemorating Brian, who won three rugby caps for Wales in the 1960s, sits proudly outside the rugby club house at Pentrych near Cardiff – his last club before he passed away in September 2020.
It is among the company’s first to feature a QR code so that anyone passing by can learn more about Brian’s life and the reason why his memorial bench is situated at Pentrych. Brian’s widow Enid said she could not be more pleased and touched that her husband’s story was being commemorated in such a way.
She said: “I think it’s a lovely idea, it really is. You see these plaques put in parks and you think ‘that’s nice’ – you see a name but there’s always a story too. I think it’s a lovely thing to do, to not think of sad things but to think of all the joyous things.”
Those who happen to pass by the bench commemorating Brian Davies can now find out all about the man whose rugby playing career started out at Stradley Park Llanelli near his home village of Llangennech. He went on to win his first cap for Wales in a 1962 game against Ireland. Brian remained a well-known voice on rugby as a radio and television commentator, and he lent his expertise to Pentrych Rugby Club by transforming the way players trained and played.
TDP’s benches are made from 100 per cent British recycled plastic, with company owners Rob and Anne passionate in their mission to prevent plastic from getting into landfill where it often ends up clogging up waterways and oceans. With every order, TDP provides a certificate with detailed information about how much plastic has been saved from the oceans, and how much CO2 has been prevented from going into the atmosphere too.
A Dale Commemorative bench, for example, contains recycled waste from 36,985 plastic bottle tops, stopping 1.49 cubic metres of plastic from going into landfill. Environmentally speaking, the saving is the equivalent of a 975 mile car journey – around the distance from London to Florence in Italy.
Rob said: “The idea behind My Place and Story is to create lasting memories and stories to pass on to future generations. It seems very fitting to us that by using recycled plastic we are helping make not only furniture that is long-lasting and durable, but with our unique digital platform, memories that will live on for a long time too. It’s great to think that we can help preserve stories of people’s lives that will then form part of our cultural history for future generations.” Back to Search Results
Brian Davies bench Wirksworth-based TDP Ltd, recently crowned with a coveted King’s Award for Sustainable Development, is launching ‘My Place and Story’ this month. The platform will allow those who buy one of TDP Ltd’s commemorative benches in memory of a loved one to add a QR code so that anyone sitting on it can scan the code and read the life story of the person commemorated.