Honour for Wetherby’s retired town policeman

John sits with his wife on the bench placed in his honour, surrounded by community members and friends
John sits with his wife on the bench placed in his honour, surrounded by community members and friends

The people of Wetherby have paid their thanks to a community figure who has helped and befriended them for the last 50 years.

A bench which has been placed in honour of John Tatterton, was revealed to him after nearly half a century of serving the town and the community.

John, who is suffering ill health, is a well-known figure in Wetherby after spending 30 years of his life as the town policeman and another 15 as the local handy man.

Mayor of Wetherby, Harry Chapman said: “I’ve known John for 25 years. He’s been around a long time, and been very much part of Wetherby for around 50 years. I don’t think you would fine anybody in Wetherby who doesn’t like him, he wasn’t ever malicious or nasty. He was quite taken with [the bench], I think he was moved by it all.”

The Wetherby Business Association, town councillors, ward councillors and an anonymous donor all contributed towards the cost of the bench.

President of the Wetherby Business Association, Steve Kay said: “The town council wanted more benches in the town and someone suggested that we should name one after John after all he has done for the community. We thought he was a prime candidate to have a seat in the town with his name on it. A lot of the stuff he did after he retired was voluntary, he is very well known. I know him from being a local person.”

The bench, which has been placed outside the Wetherby library, was revealed to John last week.

He said: “I was quite surprised and felt privileged. I didn’t do the work for the kudos, it was only because I wanted to not because I had to. I was born and bred in Wetherby. When I retired I was the town council handy man, fixing the displays and boards in the town. I was a public person for a lot of years, I know a lot of people by sight as opposed to actually knowing them. When you’re a policeman you are very much in the public domain.”

John has also been involved with a number of community projects including putting up the Christmas lights, being part of Wetherby’s Britain in Bloom Committee and stood as President of the Wetherby Silver band for two years.

Mr Tatterton said: “I hope everyone in the community gets to use the bench and has some enjoyment from it being there.”