'Inspiring' schoolboys with kind hearts clean graffiti from Wally's memorial bench in Leighton Buzzard

Three conscientious Leighton Buzzard boys have been praised for cleaning Wally Randall's memorial bench after it was vandalised.

By Jo Robinson
Friday, 17th June 2022, 12:03 pm
Updated Friday, 17th June 2022, 1:54 pm

On Tuesday (June 14) Mackenzie Blunden, Lennon Hunt, and Joshua Hunt had met up before the start of school at Parson's Close Recreation Ground when they spotted the bright, ugly paint marks on the seat.

With a scourer supplied by headteacher David Heather of Pulford Lower School, they set about cleaning the graffiti from the bench - and all in time to start the day's lessons!

Mackenzie's mum, Tracey Blunden, told the LBO: "They had seen Wally at Wilko and we had explained to them the significance of the bench, so they thought it was a good idea to give it a clean.

The boys spent 30 minutes removing the graffiti. Photo: Laura Hunt

"Mackenzie said, 'We have got to get it off'. I'd only got my handbag and nothing else so Mr Heather came out and brought us a scourer.

"They were very good, they took it in turns to clean two bits each."

The memorial bench was erected in March in memory of Wally, who was famous for being Britain's oldest poppy seller.

The former World War Two motor mechanic died in March 2020 and the bench was gifted to the community by Leighton-Linslade Town Council.

The boys cleaning the graffiti (left); Mackenzie, aged five (top right); Lennon and Joshua, aged eight and four (bottom right). Photos: Laura Hunt/Tracey Blunden

Tracey said: "We're so proud of the boys.

"Hopefully it will give whoever did it food for thought, and I hope someone sits down and talks to them about the sacrifices made during the war."

Lennon and Joshua's mum, Laura Hunt, said: "Lennon and Joshua both knew Wally and why the bench was installed, so it means a lot to them.

"I am absolutely bursting with pride."

Mackenzie (left), Lennon, and Joshua. Photos: Tracey Blunden/Laura Hunt.

Read More

Read More
21 pictures showing the return of Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard Truck Convoy - ...

Leighton-Linslade Town Councillor, Pat Carberry, said: "This is not a story about mindless vandalism but about young people stepping forward to put right the damage incurred.

"These children are to be applauded and are a credit to their family and our entire community.

"It is inspiring that a new generation and one so young would seek to be like Wally and be a force for good."

Graffiti on Wally's bench. Photo: Laura Hunt.

Laura added: "The wonderful thing is that the boys don't see that they've done anything special; they're just kindhearted children.

"The people responsible for the graffiti should see that children as young as four have been cleaning up after them. I hope they're ashamed of themselves."