Pokémon bench is wrecked by vandals and then repaired by Good Samaritans

Calverley Grounds bench

A memorial bench in Calverley Grounds that has been named as the location of a Pokéstop has been vandalised.

The bench was placed there by widow Janet Balmforth ‘in loving memory of Adrian Balmforth 1928-2003’.

Her late husband was at one time Director of The Grove Bowling Club in Tunbridge Wells.

The app Pokémon Go was released in early July and has become a summer sensation.

The aim of the game is for players to catch Pokémon creatures in their local area and then head to ‘Gyms’ where they fight other users.

The bench is the location of a Pokéstop, where users can collect eggs or Poké Balls which allow them to capture more Pokémon. It is the only bench in the grounds that is a Pokéstop and it was the only bench damaged on Saturday.

Nicholas Pope from Friends of Calverley Grounds said: “I am saddened that people think it is acceptable to vandalise property, and even more so when it is a memorial to someone, causing even greater upset.”

When news of the vandalism became know there was an outpouring of comment on social media that resulted in two local people stepping in and repairing the bench.

Nicholas Pope said: “I would like to thank Dave Paterson and Rob Quinnell for repairing the memorial bench”.

Calverley Grounds bench

Both are ‘local trades people’ who felt so strongly about the incident that they were prepared to give up their time to make the repairs.

A spokesperson for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council said, ‘Mrs Balmforth contacted the Council on Monday to report some damage to the bench, fortunately it is repairable.

“Sadly from time to time things in the park do get damaged and we would encourage anyone who has any information about this to contact either the police or council.’

It currently costs a donor £750 to provide a memorial bench in a council park.

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