The first marker has been laid to honour cancer campaigner Ben Ashworth along Preston’s Guild Wheel.
VIDEO BY BRIAN PORTER
Over the last few months, Ben’s wife, Louise Harlow, has been working with members of Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council to map out a suitable route to dedicate to the well-loved father-of-three who died last year.
Now, the tribute is beginning to take shape, as a rock and plaque has been erected on Preston docklands, with another to be placed near the bridge at the entrance of Avenham Park by the Continental pub.
A formal dedication will take place at the Continental end on July 1, to mark Ben’s anniversary.
Louise, of Broadgate, said: “I am really excited. It is the perfect tribute to him. It is great to be able to publicly acknowledge what Ben did and for people to have a place where they can go to do that and remember him and be inspired.
“A good friend, Brian Porter, has officially measured the stretch. It’s a bit over 2.5k, but Brian decided Ben always went that bit further. (SEE VIDEO)
“I want to thank the councils, in particular Russell Rees, who is head of engineering at Preston City Council, who has been amazing in sorting this out.”
The dedication and unveiling will start at 1pm outside The Continental, with a speech from the Mayor of Preston, Coun Trevor Hart.
Guests are then invited to walk the 2.5k route and return to The Continental for musical entertainment in the function room from 2pm.
People can buy entry tickets on the day, with a £10 donation to go towards Rosemere Cancer Foundation.
Louise added: “We are planning to meet for the opening and unveiling, then everyone is welcome to walk/run the stretch with us. This is not an organised event, but all are welcome.
“It would be wonderful to have as many people there as possible.”
The idea to dedicate a section of the Guild Wheel to Ben came just days after he died of bowel cancer aged 38 last July.
Following his diagnosis, Ben had set a target of six marathons in six months in 2014, and carried on running more than 20, raising thousands of pounds via the Ben’s Bowel Movements charity site.
As many of his challenges involved the Guild Wheel, long time friend Graham Dixon set up a petition, which Preston City Council agreed to immediately.
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