Hanley Park is described as a ‘great example of a late Victorian municipal park’ but until recently it had very few places to perch and gaze at the beautiful surroundings.

But PM Training’s Artworks team have changed that, they have created four English oak and cast steel benches, exact replicas of the originals from Victorian times.

Phil Brown, Artworks manager, said: “A lot of restoration work has been done in the park and as part of that, an old original bench end steel was uncovered.

“I had some new patterns made off that so we can recast the steel and make new versions of the benches.

“It’s been an unusual project, but seeing them installed in the park is a treat. They look good and they fit in well with the other refurbishments going on the park, the planting, the pathways, and the fountain.”

The four benches have been installed around the recently restored Hammersley Fountain in the Terrace Gardens in the main park. And Stoke-on-Trent City Council has plans for up to 20 of these replica benches to be installed in future.

One of the first to be installed has a plaque in honour of a long-standing community police officer.

PC David Marshall, known locally as ‘The Sheriff’, has been on the beat in and around the Shelton and Hanley Park area since 2000, having joined Staffordshire Police as a constable back in 1990.

PC Marshall was invited to the surprise unveiling of his bench to mark his retirement. His family and colleagues attended the event, which was specially broadcast live on Signal Radio.

Phil said: “It was great to see PC Marshall so pleased with the bench which honours all his work.

“Liam Robinson, the apprentice who helped make the bench was able to meet him and it was good to get quite a few mentions on the radio during the day.”

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