DOZENS of people gathered to celebrate the unveiling of a memorial bench in Overton.

The Greyhound, in Winchester Street, revealed the bench and a commemorative plaque in memory of Ben Wilson, who died in a car crash last year, aged 18.

Landlady Lisa Durban-Williams said: “I would say there was 30 to 40 kids who came in on Sunday. They went to school with him, played football with him. A lot of adults came in too but the kids were more important that day.”

BBC Breakfast presenter Mike Bushell was present for the grand unveiling. He lives in the area and knows Ben’s dad, David, who owns the greengrocer Wilson & Sons.

“Ben’s dad wanted it as a special unveiling and so he asked Mike and Mike said yes,” Lisa added. “We are really proud to say that they wanted to have it here. Ben’s dad is one of the locals. We do a monthly jam night and he’ll be here on Wednesday singing Teenage Kicks.”

Ben’s friend James Fuller came up with the idea for the bench. A jar was placed on the bar at the pub in which regulars and other locals could leave donations.

Lisa added: “We put a jar on the bar and that raised £870. We took that to Chic Teak and they gave us a discount and said we could have the £1,000 bench for £870. The whole of Overton just came together.”

As well as the donations, members of the community have been providing ‘hidden rocks’ dedicated to Ben.

Most hidden rocks are usually picked up or replaced by those who find them, but the ones dedicated to Ben, however, have been left untouched.

Lisa thinks that Ben would have approved of the memorial bench, adding: “I do like to think Ben knows that we have done this. He would have loved that it’s here. He would think it was quite funny that we’ve gone to all this trouble.”