Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Animal lover’s life to be marked by bench at Chippenham
Clive Rathband, Joan Rathband and Helen Murzynat at the site of the memorial bench for Sandra Wiltshire
Friends of Sandra Wiltshire, the Chippenham woman who died after being trampled by cows, are having a bench and tree installed in her memory.
The death of Mrs Wiltshire last October shocked neighbours and friends in Monkton Park, where she lived and walked her dogs in the nearby fields for more than 20 years.
Mrs Wiltshire, 68, a retired accounts clerk of Carrick Close, was walking her 11-year-old Golden Labrador Bruce when she was trampled by cows in a field near Riverside Drive. She suffered a cardiac arrest and despite efforts by paramedics, she died at the scene. Bruce was also severely injured and he was put down by a vet.
Clive and Joan Rathband, neighbours and close friends of Mrs Wiltshire, are among those who decided to install a memorial bench and tree in her memory.
Wiltshire Council has granted permission for the bench and tree to be placed off Riverside Drive overlooking the River Avon and Mr Rathband is appealing for donations to pay for them.
He said: “I have ordered the bench and plaque, which will cost £500. The tree will be a wild cherry tree and that will probably cost £100, and the council has informed us we have to have public liability insurance for the bench and that will cost us another £100 a year.”
Mr Rathband said the bench and tree would be a fitting tribute to Mrs Wiltshire, who was known by most of the dog walkers in the area.
He said: “The bench and tree will be in a special part of the area. It’s close to the road and people can sit there and look out over the river. Sandra’s death is still a shock to everybody here. Sandra was known to a lot of people, she used to meet people walking their dogs and she was involved in choral singing.”
Mr Rathband is asking for people who wish to make donations to send them to him at his address, 1 Carrick Close, Chippenham, SN15 3ND. Any surplus money will be donated equally to the Labrador Rescue Trust and the Donkey Sanctuary, which were Mrs Wiltshire’s favourite charities.