Stars unveil Miles Kington memorial bench
Stars Joanna Lumley and Terry Jones celebrated the life of their late friend and journalist Miles Kington on Sunday when they opened his memorial bench at the Dundas Aqueduct.
Friends, family, colleagues and admirers gathered on the towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal to remember the journalist, best known for his daily columns in The Times and then The Independent.
Mr Kington died of cancer in 2008 but while he was battling the disease he wrote the book How Shall I Tell The Dog.
In it he declared he would like a bench on the towpath with the inscription “In fond memory of Miles Kington, who hated this spot because there was never anywhere to sit down and enjoy it from.
He met Mr Jones, the Monty Python star, when they were studying at Oxford University and became firm friends, often writing together.
Mr Jones, 71, said: “Miles was the only person who did exactly what he wanted to do. He achieved what he wanted in life and in death. He was a beautiful, kind, lovely man. Today is very fitting.”
Mrs Lumley, 67, who officially revealed the bench, met Mr Kington in the Seventies on the long-running game show Call My Bluff.
The former Bond girl, also known for her role in Absolutely Fabulous, said: “We lived in the same area, was on the same programme and would stay by the school gates to meet our children.
“He was the best. He was an exceptional, generous man and an all rounder.” To reflect Mr Kington’s humorous nature, a ‘canal inspector’, an actor from the Natural Theatre Company in Bath, warned the crowd they were in danger of being fined as there were too many of them on the towpath.
Just for the occasion there was an empty picture frame on a stand in front of the bench so photos could be taken through it of people on the seat.
Caroline Kington moved to Limpley Stoke with her husband in 1987 when he found a house with the train line almost running through his garden and he would watch the trains go by. He became a familiar site along the towpath, cycling to Bath or Bradford on Avon daily to get inspiration for his writing.
Mrs Kington said: “Today could not have gone better and I am delighted theyhave come. Miles would really be enjoying it and smiling.”
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