A MAYPOLE and a public bench were at the centre of Whitchurch Coronation celebrations.

The colourful pole, adorned with patriotic red, white and blue ribbon tassles and ribbon flowers was topped with a crown.

The creative members of Whitchurch WI designed the eye-catching tribute to the King, whose face was at the centre of a Union Flag in the centre of the decorations on the bench.

The location, on Whitchurch Road, opposite a bus stop, was significant because it is a bench provided by the WI branch to mark its 50th anniversary some years ago. The bench was also the centre of attention when it staged a Remembrance Day poppy sculpture.

Margaret Hamer, WI branch president, said: ‘We wanted to make the most of our bench and it was very popular when it had the poppy design on it last November. The people on the buses and at the bus stop all seemed to be very interested and liked the poppy bench. We’ve had a few nice comments already when people saw what we were doing with the maypole.’

The maypole theme was dreamt up by fellow member Marion Caudwell, who said: ‘We were talking, as members, about what we could do for the Coronation that would catch the eye and be different from everyone else. I suggested a maypole because it’s so typically English and we’ve made it very royal with the crown and the Union Jack. We also made all the red, white and blue ribbon flowers. We’re pleased it looks the part and hope it makes people smile.’