Memorial bench removed from Holt park after repeated vandalism
- Credit: submitted
The family of a Norfolk actor have removed a bench placed in a Holt park in his memory after repeated vandalism.
Twenty-three-year-old Gary Higgs, who had cystic fibrosis, died three years ago.
His parents Julie and Steve Higgs said: 'It is with sadness that we have decided to remove our son Gary's memorial bench from the park in Peacock Lane.
'The bench was placed there three years ago following Gary's passing and we know many families have enjoyed sitting on it.
'Unfortunately, not everyone values the bench being there and it has recently been mindlessly vandalised on more than one occasion, the final straw being when the bench was forcefully removed from its concrete base this week.
'We are not prepared for the bench to continue to be vandalised so it has been removed and brought home for Gary's family and friends to use. To those who enjoyed using it, we send our apologies, and to those who chose to vandalise it, we hope you are proud of yourselves.'
Mr Higgs married the love of his life Stephanie Moore in a ceremony just days before he died.
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They had both been due to perform in the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society's (NNOS) production of Anything Goes at Norwich Theatre Royal.
Instead, the show was performed in his memory.
The couple, who lived together in Norwich and both starred in NNOS's 2013 show Sweeney Todd, first met at a musical summer school in Scarborough and quickly fell in love, with Mr Higgs asking his future wife to be his girlfriend as the sun set on Cromer Pier.
They got engaged on their six-month anniversary at Disneyland Paris and were married in Mr Higgs' room on Hethel ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
Mr Higgs grew up in Holt and attended the Owl Playschool, Holt Primary School and Sheringham High School before moving to Paston College in North Walsham. His family said he refused to let cystic fibrosis get in the way of his love of performing, which began when he sang at his grandmother's 60th birthday, aged three.