09:00AM, Saturday 14 November 2020
A memorial bench has been installed in Burnham to remember a former British Prime Minister and village resident who was in office when the slave trade was abolished.
The bench, which is located outside Burnham Park Hall, commemorates 1st Baron Lord William Grenville, who was Prime Minister from 1806 to 1807 and, as stated on the bench, was ‘responsible for the abolition of the slave trade in Britain’ in 1807.
Lord Grenville, who resided at Dropmore House in Burnham, is also buried at St Peter’s Church.
The bench, which was installed on Tuesday, October 20, was unveiled during a ceremony on Saturday, with Burnham MP Joy Morrissey among those in attendance.
As part of the project, a donation of £500 was given by Cllr Lin Hazell through her South Bucks District Council councillor fund, and £300 was donated by stairlift company AST Services Ltd.
Burnham parish councillor Ekta Kaur Ross, who is chair of the recreation and amenities committee, which oversaw the project, told the Advertiser: “I think he was a very brave man, he went against the norm, went against the accepted practices of the day, [and] it takes a lot of bravery to do that.
“He went against the tide, so I’m very proud of what he achieved.”
Cllr Lyn Mangisi, who is vice-chair of the committee and took the lead on the project, added: “Burnham is very diverse. We have one of the most diverse parish councils in the country, therefore having a bench that signifies equality and diversity – that signifies how important such a month like Black History Month is – is very important to share that in Burnham with our residents to make sure that they continue to be proud of what Burnham is.”
MP Joy Morrissey said: “I think this is a wonderful celebration. I think we should really honour him much more and I’ll be bringing his name forward in Parliament to try to bring forward recognition about what he did.
“I love that it’s here, this bench is here for everyone to enjoy to sit on and young people of every generation can sit and think about what this incredible Burnham resident did for not only our country, but the world.”