Memorial benches are tribute to generous Houghton couple

Pictured at the unveiling of the memorial seats to Wilf and Anne Husband are, from left, Beverley Bainbridge, the couple's son Wilf and daughter Jeanette, and other family and friends.

Pictured at the unveiling of the memorial seats to Wilf and Anne Husband are, from left, Beverley Bainbridge, the couple's son Wilf and daughter Jeanette, and other family and friends.

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Two memorial benches have been unveiled as a lasting tribute to a “generous” couple at an emotional ceremony.

The benches are in memory of Wilf and Anne Husband, who were well known for their kindness in Houghton.

The couple, who had two children, Janette and Wilfred, lived in the town’s Market Place all their lives and were well known not only for their business – Wilf Husband, an aggregate supplier company – but also for their acts of goodwill to local people.

It was this generosity that sparked family friend Beverley Bainbridge to launch a Go Fund Me appeal, to raise £5,000 needed for two memorial benches.

Mr Husband passed away this year on June 7, aged 73. His wife died, aged 65, on March 17, 2010. The benches stand side by side in Market Place, Houghton.

Daughter Janette said the unveiling of the benches was ‘emotional’.

“I couldn’t believe the turnout, especially with the weather because it was chucking it down,” she said.

“About 50 family and friends came along and the benches were opened by Councillor Juliana Heron.

“They are fabulous and I can’t thank Beverley enough. I am blown away by it all. It is a celebration of their lives.”

During the unveiling, family friend John Richie made a speech and flowers were laid on the benches.

The Husbands were known to sponsor local football and boxing clubs, including the former Hetton Boxing Club, and still sponsor Houghton Boxing Club. Mr Husband would also display old motors at the annual Houghton Feast.

The benches were installed on what would have been Mrs Husband’s 70th birthday.

“They were just lovely people,” Ms Bainbridge said. “I can’t say that enough.

“They are a well-known family and Wilf was a popular man. I set up a fundraising page about six weeks ago and it took just two weeks for the money to come in.”

About £ 3,420 was raised for the benches and the second was paid for by the couple’s daughter Janette and son Wilfred.