After being billed by council for fixing vandalised Hammersmith memorial
The bench on Queen Caroline Street
A JustGiving crowdfunding campaign has been launched to pay for repairs to Rik Mayall’s famous memorial bench after it was vandalised.
The bench has been sitting at the junction of Queen Caroline Street and Hammersmith Bridge Road - nicknamed Bottom Island by fans of the much missed comedian - since being installed in 2014.
Last month however, eight years after Rik’s sudden death at the age of just 56, the bench’s founder Jaime Bird discovered people had been scratching messages in the bench.
She said on Twitter @LycanEclipse, “How dare you do this to a memorial. Show other ways of missing him. Do NOT I repeat DO NOT Scratch into the bench. Now it's got to be repaired.”
She contacted H&F Council, who replied,“ We are sorry to hear regarding vandalism. Unfortunately, the council makes every effort to maintain the bench but as it is installed on a public site it cannot be held liable for any damage or vandalism.”
The council then supplied a contractor to carry out the necessary repairs, but this week Jaime tweeted: “Hey hats and cats. As you're aware, Riks bench was vandalised recently & the council, though having repaired it, they've slapped us with a repair bill of £477 of which we are now hoping to raise. If anyone can donate please do #RikMayall.”
By Friday morning the JustGiving page set up by fellow fan Caitlin Jones, was almost halfway to its target.
The bench was featured in opening credits of the TV sitcom Bottom, which starred Rik and comedy partner Ade Admondson, and in 2010 Rik told the BBCP: " "Hammersmith is my stomping ground I suppose. And one of the great opening credit sequences was for the telly show Bottom, where you had Richie and Eddie – me and Ade – sitting on a bench.
"If you were to come to the end of King Street where it meets the big roundabout to get to the Hammersmith Apollo, you'd find that same bench on a traffic island –– until one day they took it away and put a pelican crossing in its place.
"That for me is the worst journey I ever made, discovering what had happened to that bench."
It was those words that inspired Jaime to petition H&F Council to reinstate the bench. The council agreed and in November 2014 the black iron bench was unveiled to a crowd which included Rik's children.
A plaque on the bench reads:
In Memory Of The Man, The Myth, The Legend
Dr The Rik Mayall
Pan Global Phenomenon
Equality, Opportunity, Wisdom, Freedom & Love.
“Barbara: Love Is The Answer”
The words were provided by Rik's children, Rosie, Sidney and Bonnie while the final line was a phrase Rick would often say to his wife Barbara Robbin.
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July 15, 2022