An unexpected sight appeared on Haworth Art Gallery grounds this last week as the Baxenden Running Bugs’ brand-new carved wooden bench was officially unveiled following months of hard work and collaboration.
Funded by the club’s charitable collections and created in partnership with local artist Rick Goodwin of Stump Art, the bench now sits outside Haworth Art Gallery and is available for the local community to enjoy for years to come.
Lee Taylor, Club Chairman, said:
“There was ever only one location for this bench and that is the place the club calls home and that has been the main meeting point since the club was initially founded.”
Every year, Baxenden Running Bugs collect money from their members to donate to a local cause, with previous years seeing thousands of pounds donated to local charities like The BeeHive Project, East Lancashire Hospice, and Air Ambulance. The club members raise funds by having social events, raffles, and a monthly charity run where all groups run together.
This last year, the group decided to use the money for something a little different: to fund a Bugs themed carved bench for the community.
The tree used to create the bench originally stood in the park surrounding Haworth Art Gallery for over 100 years, but it was unfortunately scheduled to be felled due to being diseased with Ash Dieback. Thanks to the club’s efforts and the ongoing support of both Hyndburn Borough Council and Haworth Art Gallery, this tree has been given a new lease of life through this transformation.
Lee Taylor, continued:
“The Club, Gallery, and Parks staff at the Council fell in love with the sentiment that this tree had stood in Haworth Park for over 100 years and it would go back into Haworth as the park’s first carved bench for Gallery locals to sit and view the beautiful park.”
Baxenden Running Bugs was established over 7 years ago by members of Baxenden Slimming World who decided to complete the NHS ‘Couch to 5k’ programme. Fifteen programmes later, the club’s main focus is still to get beginners into running by offering a fun, friendly and supportive environment where everyone is welcome.
Currently there are 5 run groups to choose from, covering lots of different abilities and distances from beginners to marathon runners. For more information on how you can get involved in Baxenden Running Bugs, head to their social media pages.