Legacy provides a place to rest and enjoy the countryside views in Aldbourne

Pictured back, from left, parish councillors Diane Powell, Chris Boreham and John Hawken with front Gemma and Maggie Moss. Inset, Susan, left, and Mary Bailey at an event in Stanford in 1991

Susan, left, and Mary Bailey at an event in Stanford in 1991

First published in News

Generations of pupils at St Michael’s School in Aldbourne will be grateful to their former teacher Susan Bailey when they climb up Farm Lane towards Ewens Hill and take a rest on the iron seat at Southward Triangle.

The new seat, made by Aldbourne blacksmith Marc Hart who was one of her pupils, has been paid for from a legacy left by Miss Bailey and her sister Mary Bailey, who was also a teacher.

Both loved walking up to Southwards Triangle and resting on a seat there offering spectacular views of the village and downland beyond towards Baydon.

Susan Bailey was also a parish councillor and when she discovered that Southwards Triangle at the junction of two lanes was a piece of no man’s land she started the procedure towards registering it in the name of the parish council.

Two years ago the piece of land became the property of the parish council and a team of volunteers has cleared blackthorn scrub to provide a clear view from the new seat that replaces an old wooden one that had become vandalised.

The spinster sisters spent their retirement living together in a cottage on The Green.

Although they were in separate nursing homes in their latter years they amazingly died on the same day in 2008. Mary Bailey was 82 and her sister was 95.

The pair left a sum of money to the parish council for the restoration and upkeep of Southward Triangle and for the new seat.

On Monday their nieces Gemma and Maggie Moss travelled from their homes in Bristol to Aldbourne to officially dedicate the seat in memory of their aunts.

They were joined by parish councillors John Hawken and Chris Boreham, who helped clear the area, and by their council colleague Diane Powell.

Gemma Moss said: “I am very impressed with all the hard work that has been put in to make this possible.”

A brass plaque on the seat reads: “In memory of Susan and Mary Bailey who loved this place.”

Coun Hawken said work on restoring the view from the site was on-going and it was hoped a tall hedge at present restricting the view of the village would be trimmed with the consent of the adjacent land owners.

The restoration of the seat is part of an on-going project in Aldbourne to restore public seats around the village.

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