England

Worcester family of Archie Thomas reunited with bench in Devon

Archie Thomas' sister Emily and father Michael sitting on his memorial bench
Image caption Archie Thomas' sister Emily and father Michael will take his bench back to a spot he loved in Port Isaac

A family has been reunited with a memorial bench which was swept out to sea and washed up 60 miles away.

The seat dedicated to teenager Archie Thomas was placed in a spot he loved in Port Isaac, Cornwall.

Dog walker Kathryn Challis found it on Saunton Beach in North Devon on New Year's Day and began a Facebook appeal.

Archie's family was traced and his sister Emily Thomas said taking the bench back to the place they chose to remember her brother will be "special".

Image copyright Emily Thomas
Image caption Archie Thomas standing on the cliff above Port Isaac in Cornwall near to where his memorial bench was placed

Ms Thomas said her brother, from Worcester, was 15 when he died of a brain tumour in 1985.

"The story about my brother's bench having been swept away from Port Isaac and then travelling 60 miles up the coast and landing safely has connected us with so much - not least so many lovely people from North Devon who have been helping," she said.

Image copyright Kathryn Challis
Image caption The bench travelled 60 miles down the coast before being washed up

Ms Challis, from Braunton, posted pictures of the bench's plaque on a local Facebook group.

Grace Brown, from Devon, saw the appeal and looked into Archie's background.

Mrs Brown told BBC Hereford and Worcester: "The first point of call was the births, deaths and marriages records and I just put his name in, obviously we had his full name and those two dates.

"It came up with a match straight away, of an Archie Thomas who was born in Worcester and he died in 1985, we felt that this must be him."

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