Bench placed in memory of well-loved local vet thrown into pond by vandals

Alastair Douglas

A bench placed in the memory of Alastair Douglas was thrown into a pond on Monday - Credit: Family Picture

A bench placed as a memorial to a well-known Suffolk vet who served his community for many years was dumped in a pond over the bank holiday weekend. 

The bench, a memorial to Alastair Douglas, a former Framlingham vet, was forced off its plinth and thrown in before being rescued by members of the public. 

Mr Douglas was well known in Framlingham before his death in 2014

He performed surgery on small animals, and later in his career, pigs; starting the second ‘pig only’ veterinary practice in the UK.

Mr Douglas' wife, Janet Douglas, has been upset by the incident. 

"When my husband died, which was seven years ago last week, I had an oak bench made and had it placed where we used to walk," said Mrs Douglas. 

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"It's been there for seven years, happily sat there. I've had loads of people say they've been sat there."

On Monday, Mrs Douglas' granddaughter found out that the bench had been moved. 

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"We had it padlocked in because it is on a farmer's land," said Mrs Douglas. 

"So he could unpadlock it move it and use the space. 

"It looks like they've pulled out the spikes that would have kept it in the ground."

Graham Coulter was walking in the area around 3pm on Monday and came across the bench. 

"It was laying on its back," said Mr Coulter. 

"It was half submerged in water."

Mr Coulter said it was real struggle to get it out but he knew it was popular with local people and so wanted to make sure it was safe. 

The vandalism of the bench comes after a series of incidents in Framlingham in the past few weeks. 

On March 23, netting was pulled off Framlingham Castle, damaging stonework. 

A few days letter obscenities were spray painted on the outside of the building. 

"My daughters are heartbroken," said Mrs Douglas. 

"It's horrible."

Mrs Douglas has reported the incident to Suffolk police and hopes that something can be done; both about the bench itself and the wider vandalism issues in Framlingham more generally. 

"It's liked by everybody," said Mrs Douglas. 

"Because he was such a popular person I think that's what has shocked everyone.

"I've had people ringing. It's a nasty, nasty thing happening."

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