A Collaborative Project in Memory of Melissa Lancashire

Over the past couple of months Barr Group have had the privilege of working with the team at Lord Williams’s school and some truly fantastic collaborators on a memorial project, in honour of a much loved teacher and member of the Thame community.

With thanks to our collaborators: HollandGreen, Stoneworld, Landmark Garden Design and Taplins.

To tell you a bit more about it here are the words of Alison Gray, facilities officer at Lord Williams’s School and instigator of Melissa’s memorial bench project;

"March 2020 was a devastatingly sad month for the Staff and Students of Lord Williams’s School following the news that their beloved Humanities teacher Melissa Lancashire had died after living with cancer for many years.

She was a fantastically funny, caring, generous, selfless and an extremely well organised colleague and friend. Melissa inspired her students with her teaching and mentoring skills, helped them navigate various stages of their lives, simply put she was a star and we miss her dreadfully. We wanted to honour Melissa’s memory with the money kindly donated at the school. After discussions with Melissa’s family, we started the journey of the tree and bench idea.

A beautiful ornamental cherry tree was duly sourced and planted last Autumn. Melissa’s Tutor Group who she had had the pleasure of nurturing for 4 years joined in with the planting of daffodils, a nod to her Welsh heritage. The payoff this spring was a good showing of yellow blooms, the tree also showed its appreciation with a stunning pink blossom.

The next phase was the bench, given Melissa’s uniqueness, a wooden bench wouldn’t do. A number of ideas were put to the tutor group, narrowed down and finally, a decision was made with the Gabion style bench idea given the green light.

Lord Williams’s School cannot thank enough local business Barr Group in conjunction with Stoneworld, HollandGreen, Landmark Garden Design & Construction and Taplin’s Plant Hire for their donations of time, machinery and materials. Their combined passion for excellence has been a driving force in planning with determination to succeed. This bench is a testament to them and, along with the tree, it will stand the test of time.