Lets be honest, Hemel Hempstead has some great benches. I’ve often spoken of the one opposite Forbidden Planet on the high street, and the one on Gadebridge park. OK, the second isn’t strictly speaking a bench (it’s a log), but when I fancy a sit down, I ain’t interested in semantics mate. In this work, though, we will be talking about the bench opposite Aquasplash. Not the one by the bus stop, but the one outside the entrance next to the bins. I’ve got a lot to say about that bench, and indeed the bins, but if you require a mere summary because you lead a busy life and believe in delegating responsibility to experts, then hear this: I would describe it as excellent.
Key features of the bench opposite Aquasplash:
- Bevelled arm rests
- Close to Aquasplash
Picture, if you would be so kind, my buttocks. They are tired; tired, yet spectacular, pert and wondrous things. They require support. Preferably, they would like a horizontal plane in order to prevent my upper torso and head from succumbing to gravity, that most long range of all the forces. Therein lies the bench and/or seats more generally (they represent a victory of electromagnetism over what Newton called gravitas, itself derived from ‘grave’ and the action of burying (alas, even the bench opposite Aquasplash cannot slow our journey to oblivion and I aint talkin’ Alton Towers)). I often use chairs but I miss the ability to move side to side to dodge approaching missiles or just because I fancy it. The bench opposite Aquasplash offers all this and more (there are multiple bins at hand for banana skins etc).
‘How crass! How vulgar! May we hear more for the sensitive soul, whose mind is unburdened with concerns over her arse?’ Yes, you may. This bench is in memory of Henry Shadows 1913-1995. Henry Shadows was a local farmer, who once met a Royal person. He also stood as independent candidate for Hertfordshire in 1974 and 1979. I like to imagine him standing here surveying the scene, tired butt in his head. Looking out at the beautiful view (pre-Aquasplash – all his memorial plaque can see now is Aquasplash) and yearning for this greenfield development, such that he may one day have his name celebrated on brass coated steel on elm.