Family seat-memorial bench now in place for ‘true Saddleworth legend’

A MEMORIAL bench to honour former Saddleworth ‘bobby’ Martin Warburton has received the family seal of approval.

Nearly £1,000 was raised by the Dovestone WI to purchase a bench in recognition of the community police officer, affectionately known as Warby, who died on Christmas Eve 2019.

Jess, Sam, Ashleigh and Joseph

The seat has now been erected opposite Warby’s Greenfield home of more than half a century and at the foot of the public footpath leading upto the Pots and Pans war memorial.

Grandchildren Sam Gill, Ashleigh Holroyd and Joseph Sothcott were among the first to use the seat with a view at Knowl Top Lane, joined by Dovestone WI president, Jess Moreland.

The bench also carries a plaque which reads: PC 4991 Martin “Warby” Warburton-a giant of a man…..a proper copper. Known and loved by many. A true Saddleworth legend.

“We knew granddad was well loved in the area,” said Sam. “But it has still been quite humbling to hear what people have said and something to be proud of.

“The bench is a great idea so thank you to everyone who contributed.”Warby served more than 25 years in the force and as a tribute to his passion for the community, a retirement apartment block built opposite the police station in Uppermill was named Warburton Court in his honour.

A total of £987 was raised by a WI coffee morning back in February, a raffle and a JustGiving page.

The bench cost £685 with the surplus money to be donated to a charity nominated by the family.

“The bench is in a great spot for anyone out walking,” said Jess. “It would have been ideal too for people wanting a quick rest before walking upto Pots and Pans for the usual Remembrance Day service.

“Unfortunately, the service isn’t taking place this year because of coronavirus restrictions but there will be plenty more years.”

Grandson Sam Gill, grandaughter Ashleigh Holroyd and grandson Joseph Sothcott 

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