This time last year sunflowers were popping up all over Beeston as community gardening group Beeston In Bloom contributed seeds, pots and composts to a children’s lockdown activity pack. Yesterday (14 August 2021) the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Cllr Asghar Khan, was on hand to unveil a sunflower themed bench to commemorate that work.
Linda Stanley, Beeston in Bloom’s Secretary, takes up the story:
“In October 2020 the Leeds Civic Trust launched a new initiative ‘Take a seat’. They were offering a traditional park bench and funds to decorate it with a design to show how Leeds came together to help one another during the Covid crisis.
“We made our bid and based our design on sunflowers. Beeston in Bloom had contributed to a community scheme to provide activities for families who were locked down at home. We provided a pack with compost, small pots and sunflower seeds. The result was a flurry of bright displays from gardens, window boxes and door step containers. This was in stark contrast to the suffering especially at Sunnyview House, where a number of residents died due to the virus. We also suggested that Sunnyview Gardens / Beeston Road would be an appropriate location if we were successful.
“We were delighted when we found out that a bench was coming to Beeston. An article in South Leeds Life asking for artists resulted in contact from Jaydon Rowbottom and we met to discuss the design.
“There were delays due to delivery difficulties but work began in June 2021. Using funds we had raised at one of our plant sales, we also arranged for Jaydon to decorate a utility box that was close to where the bench would be sited.
“Thank you to Leeds Civic Trust for providing the bench and Jaydon for his design.”
Photos: Kren Cooper