Molly gets memorial bench in her honour at St Peter’s Church Gardens in Wisbech

PUBLISHED: 18:02 03 September 2014 | UPDATED: 18:02 03 September 2014

New memorial bench for Molly Watkins at St Peter's church gardens, Wisbech. Left: Rex Carkeek, Jane Hill, Bob Ollier, Bridgette Holmes, Owen Smithers, Penny Carkeek,Janet Stevens and Sarah Ledger. Picture: Steve Williams.

New memorial bench for Molly Watkins at St Peter's church gardens, Wisbech. Left: Rex Carkeek, Jane Hill, Bob Ollier, Bridgette Holmes, Owen Smithers, Penny Carkeek,Janet Stevens and Sarah Ledger. Picture: Steve Williams.

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A bench has been unveiled in memory of a popular community figure who died earlier this year.

Replacement memorial slab on Baxters' tomb at St Peter's church gardens, Wisbech. Left: Bob Ollier,David Crouch,Jane Hill,Penny and Rex Carkeek, Bridgette Holmes, Janet Stevens and Sarah Ledger.Picture: Steve Williams. Replacement memorial slab on Baxters' tomb at St Peter's church gardens, Wisbech. Left: Bob Ollier,David Crouch,Jane Hill,Penny and Rex Carkeek, Bridgette Holmes, Janet Stevens and Sarah Ledger.Picture: Steve Williams.

St Peter’s Church Gardens, in Wisbech, was one of the late Molly Watkins’ favourite places, so the community decided a bench in her honour, paid for by donations, would be a fitting tribute.

Since Molly had no family or estate she was not even going to have a funeral but, following an online campaign, about 60 people attended Mount Pleasant Cemetery to pay their respects.

More than £800 was raised - allowing also for some of the red rose bushes in Church Terrace to be replaced.

Molly was born in Wisbech and lived most of her life with her parents, sister Gladys and brother Billy.

After attending school she did seasonal fruit picking. The church was a passion of hers and she would also be present at Christmas, Easter and weddings.

Molly died, peacefully, aged 87, at Strathmore House in Elm.

Also today, a replacement memorial slab was unveiled on the Baxters’ Tomb.

Work was carried out following funding from the Wisbech Society and Fenland District Council, who liaised with the Friends of St Peter’s Gardens Committee.

John Baxter, who died in 1798 and is buried with his late wife Sarah (died 1795), was an important benefactor of Wisbech. He left money that allowed charity to be given to the poor of the town, who were unable to work.

They were only entitled to the money if they attended church every Sunday.

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