Family provides memorial bench

Pat Nightingale and her son Peter Nightingale, with his children, Alexander, eight, and Sarah, ten.
Pat Nightingale and her son Peter Nightingale, with his children, Alexander, eight, and Sarah, ten.

A new seat has been provided in Hyde Square, Upper Beeding, by the family of the late David Nightingale, who lived in the village.

David, known as Dave, was born in Bolton and studied at Manchester University. He moved to School Road, Upper Beeding, in 1972 with his wife Pat and family after getting a job at Ricardo in Shoreham. Four years later, the family moved to Hyde Street.

Pat said: “Dave loved walking and knew all the mountains of the Lake District. He soon came to love the Downs and became a footpath warden, walking the many footpaths of the parish every year and reporting anything that needed attention, such as broken stiles and fingerposts.”

He helped Pat with her allotment and restored an old MG car, which he often took to the annual Friends of Upper Beeding School fête.

In 2000, Dave helped to produce the millennium map which now hangs in the village hall. He drew the background map while Pat found artists to illustrate it.

The couple was asked by Upper Beeding Parish Council to submit the village’s case for being in the South Downs National Park and they appeared at the public enquiry in Worthing in 2004. The village itself was not included in the end but the surrounding countryside was.

Pat said: “After his retirement, Dave became a volunteer warden on the South Downs, joining with others every Wednesday to do such tasks as scrub clearance, repairing steps and stiles and clearing paths. He helped to install the hand rail beside the steps from Beeding Church to the river.

“In recent years, when he became increasingly frail, he frequently needed somewhere to sit down and there was nowhere at Hyde Square. His family hope that this seat, provided in his memory, will be a useful place for tired shoppers or passers-by to rest for a while.”