Lasting tribute to tragic canal plunge Robbie (11)

The family of Robbie Williamson are joined by students from his school Shuttlworth College with his memorial bench.
The family of Robbie Williamson are joined by students from his school Shuttlworth College with his memorial bench.
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A young Burnley boy who drowned when a schoolboy scrape went tragically wrong, was remembered by family and school pals at a special service.

They gathered at Robbie Williamson’s school, Shuttleworth College in Padiham, on Thursday to remember the popular young lad who fell from a pipe on the canal bridge at Lowerhouse and plunged to his death in April.

A local company, P.K. Ironworks of the Victoria Works on Accrington Road, run by Paul Ellis, decided to make an ornate wrought ironwork bench, after Paul’s wife Jane spotted an appeal on social media.

She suggested the firm stepped in to help and Paul made the bench which contains Robbie’s name and date of birth and death, has room for a porcelain picture of him to be added and bears the inscription: “Treasured memories of Robbie who will never be forgotten. The students and staff of Shuttleworth College.”

Mrs Kelly Decruz, whose two children attend Shuttleworth College, had launched the appeal following the tragedy and headteacher Mr Bob Wakefield stepped in to offer a donation of £160 from the school towards the cost.

On Thursday the bench was placed in the memorial garden at Shuttleworth and Robbie’s family went along to take part in a service led by the headteacher. “It was a very nice service and it is somewhere for the children to go and remember Robbie,” said Mrs Decruz.

“P.K. Ironworks contacted me when they saw my appeal and they have been great. It would have cost around £700 to buy the bench and in the end we didn’t have to raise any money.

Mr Wakefield donated from the school and we now need to raise around £90 for the picture of Robbie to be made in porcelain to finish it off. My children go to Shuttleworth and I just felt I had to do something because I’m a mother and you don’t expect to lose your child.”

The ornate bench has a cushion pad, which can be taken inside in wintertime, which was made and donated by PK’s neighbouring company B.S. Upholstery.

Robbie (11) was described as a popular fun loving lad, following the tragedy when he fell into the Leeds and Liverpool canal after falling from the pipe on the side of the bridge.