WHEN someone passes away, loved ones often install a bench or plant a tree in a special place in their memory.

But not every family can afford or would want a memorial bench but they might still feel the need to take a minute every now and then, to sit and remember the departed.

That is why a group of friends, calling themselves 'The Wild Ones', decided to raise money to have a memorial bench created for an entire community to use whenever they need to do just that.

The group held a series of fundraising events at the Belle Vue Club, in Crook, with the Tess Tickle and the Dragettes as their main performers and managed to successfully raise enough money for the bench.

Tess and fellow female impersonator Emma Royd helped the group unveil the bench at Crook Community Leisure Centre, Pease West, earlier this week.

The fundraisers now hope it will become a place of comfort to lots of people and said everyone is welcome to lay flowers at the bench.

Jane Graham, one of the friends, said: “We usually raise the money and give it to charity but this time we wanted to help the community.

"Some people can’t afford memorials so we made one for the entire town.’’

She thanked everyone who supports the group, the club's drag queen and charity events and with the design and installation of the bench.

"You have donated to this seat so this seat belongs to everybody in this town," she added.