Project to remember Rasen’s late mayor

Plans to create a lasting memorial to the town’s late mayor John Matthews was a topic of discussion at last week’s town council meeting.

The area at the front of De Aston Field will become a lasting memorial to Coun John Matthews EMN-210804-093248001

One thing was clear – it had to be something lasting and something that would be meaningful to the work Coun Matthews had done for the town.

A suggestion was put forward by Coun Cathy Turner and Coun Stephen Bunney to enhance an area of De Aston Field, in the town’s Willingham Road.

Coun Turner said: “I know that John spent many a happy hour walking round that field.

Coun John Matthews, who died in February EMN-210222-123019001

“I worked with him as he designed the field that he hoped people in Market Rasen would enjoy.”

Earlier this year, plans for an arboretum area in the field began, with the planting of 500 trees, in a project sponsored by the town’s Rotary Club.

Coun Turner continued: “Unfortunately, John is not here to see the end of it [the project], but I do feel that we should remember him in some way and that was the place where he spent a lot of his time thinking things through.

“There is that little area at the front of the field which would be an ideal area to put something on in memory of John.”

The proposal was unanimously agreed upon and will see seating areas installed.

Coun Bunney added: “We would look at naming it Matthews Corner or something like that.

“We need to think carefully about the name, but I am sure we can come up with something along those lines, so it is very much dedicated to John’s memory.”

The estimated cost of providing the seating has been put at £5,000 to £6,000.

Coun Bunney said: “We want to do a quality piece of work.

“Some of this money will come from the council’s open spaces reserve fund.”

Coun Bunney added: “It is a tradition in the town that when you are mayor, as you leave, you pay for a bench to go into the town.

“There are a number around the place, but I know there is one outstanding, so this could be included too.”

Coun Margaret Lakin-Whitworth would also like to donate a bench in memory.

A celebration event is also being planned for July 11 – subject to the Government’s Covid restrictions– as a ‘Hope for the Future’ as the town moves on post-pandemic, as well as celebrating life of John Matthews and his contribution to the town.

Full details will be issued at a later time.

The area at the front of De Aston Field, which will become a lasting memorial to Coun John Matthews