Life’s a Bench

So I’ve been dipping in and out of a project recently that began, quite without intention, a number of years ago where I document the plaques left in memorial to loved ones on benches that I happened to pass as I was out and about on various other jobs or projects. What started out as a couple of quick shots quickly grew until I now have quite a large collection of pictures from towns all along the North Yorkshire coast – Whitby, Scarborough, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Marske, Robin Hood’s Bay and Port Mulgrave to name a few.

Some are witty and some are simple while others are more complex but each one shows that at some point someone, somewhere cared enough to go to the trouble of making a lasting reminder of someone they knew.

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Images copyright Ian Forsyth 2017

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No usage without arrangement.

Life’s a bench

This is one of those projects that starts in a very unassuming way as this one did a few years ago. Without any real planning or forethought it was a project that just seemed to take shape only after a number of pictures had been taken and the collection was added to. Let’s face it this project isn’t demanding in the sense of logistics or kit requirements or any of the other technical issues that may be a concern as a project is planned. It isn’t particularly demanding of my photographic skills either but in a way that’s kind of the point.

I like the simplicity. If I see a bench with a plaque attached to it as I pass by then I might shoot a picture of it.

The pictures speak for themselves. It is obvious in the pictures what the sentiment is but I like the idea of documenting the ways or more accurately the words, in which people have chosen to make these small gestures to remember someone they were close to and how they are tied in to a particular location or to an activity or to something that they enjoyed doing.

I’ve always had an interest in seeing really old black and white pictures – doesn’t matter that I might not know who they are or in what context the picture was taken – I just like the idea that a picture, for whatever reason was taken and that there is a story behind it – for someone. This is similar in a way. I have no idea who these people were, I don’t know anything about their lives or what they did but it is fascinating to think about or to imagine who they were, what kind of people they were and what they did and how they lived their lives?

So next time you take a seat on a bench someplace check behind you and see if anyone else used to sit there enjoying the same views that you are?


It also begs the question though…..What would YOU have written on your bench..?


Click on the first picture to view it larger then click on the picture to move to the next in the series….



 See more of my work on my website and blogs… HERE

Pictures copyright Ian Forsyth

No usage without arrangement