Colin and Mavis Gray, after opening the new bridge
Cathy Holden writes:
Colin and Mavis Gray, of the Fleet Pond Society, came back from their holiday to a huge surprise recently. In recognition of their thirty year involvement with the Fleet Pond Nature Reserve and their forthcoming Golden Wedding anniversary, their colleagues on the Executive Committee decided to install a new bridge in their honour.
The mission took a lot of planning in order to keep it a complete secret from Colin and Mavis. While they were on a weeks’ holiday, the ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ volunteer team, under Project Manager Terry Austin, Vice Chairman of the Fleet Pond Society, moved in to construct the new bridge over the stream at Fugelmere Road.
The plaque on the new bridge (click to expand)
Phill Gower, of local firm Cove Industries, constructed the framework for the bridge, and worked alongside the Fleet Pond Society team to help install it.
A surprised Colin said:
“Mavis and I feel very honoured to have a bridge named for us in celebration of our Golden Wedding Anniversary and as a thank you for our work for the Pond and our other community work. It was a totally unexpected surprise. We do not feel we deserve such a high tribute but it is heart-warming to find that our friends and colleagues feel we do.
Everyone involved kept it a very close secret, a remarkable feat in itself given how many took part in the planning and construction!”
Photo credits: Cathy Holden.
Ed. I will be publishing a series of photos on the construction of the bridge, which was very interesting in it’s own right, in a future article.