Baldock nursery dedicates bench in memory of Elaine LaRoche
- Credit: Archant
A memorial bench has been dedicated to a hard-working nursery school staff member and treasurer of the Balstock charity music festival, who tragically passed away just six days after retiring.
Elaine LaRoche worked at Weston Way Nursery School in Baldock as finance and business manager for almost three decades, and was very much looking forward to her well-earned retirement – but she died on April 6 last year, aged 62.
Elaine was a well-known and popular member of the Baldock community, which was reflected in the outpouring of condolences and donations for the bench.
The nursery commissioned the bespoke Welsh oak seat to be made in her memory.
It was delivered and installed in the nursery’s unique mature woodland garden, and unveiled by Elaine’s husband Mick – who officially cut the pink ribbon.
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Also in attendance alongisde nursery staff and governors were Elaine’s two sons, Robert and Graeme, and other family members and friends.
Staff at Letchworth-based building contractor DB Sharp donated their expertise, time and resources to lay a stone-paved base onto which the bench has been securely fastened.
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Weston Way Nursery School headteacher Jane Millett said: “Elaine always played such an important and pivotal role in the unique experience that Weston Way Nursery School offers to the Baldock community, and we will endeavour to ensure that she is always remembered.”
The bench takes pride of place in the nursery garden, and Elaine’s bicycle – which became a ‘moving landmark’ over the years – is now at rest at The Orange Tree pub off Norton Road, where landlord Rob Scahill has it displayed for all to view.
Thanks to generous support, staff at the nursery school have been able to donate £2,000 to the Hertfordshire Breast Unit Appeal.
Last year’s Balstock music festival raised £6,100 for the Addenbrooke’s Breast Cancer Appeal, a cause chosen in light of bereavements close to committee members, including that of Elaine.
Due to last year being particularly difficult for the festival’s committee members – including Elaine’s son Graeme, who organises the festival – Balstock will not be returning to the calendar until 2019.