Mind-numbing Benches of Redditch calendar ‘will be a surprise hit’
Mind-numbingly tedious Benches of Redditch calendar will be surprise Christmas hit, ‘Britain’s dullest man’ hopes
- ‘Benches of Redditch’ calendar lovingly depicts 12 benches in the West Midlands town and surrounding area
- It has been compiled by Kevin Beresford, 69, of Redditch, Worcestershire, self-proclaimed ‘UK’s dullest man’
- Mr Beresford, president and sole member of the Bench Appreciation Society, says he is swamped with orders
- He created 2003’s ‘Best UK Roundabouts’ calendar and hopes this one will outsell Meghan Markle’s book
Published: 10:42, 16 November 2021 | Updated: 11:44, 16 November 2021
It’s that time of year again when pop stars, footballers and fashion models start flogging their annual wall calendars, hoping for an easy money-maker.
And it’s not hard to see why – as over 16million of us still purchase wall calendars, with Liverpool Football Club and Minecraft already lined up as bestsellers for 2022.
But one new release stands aparts from the rest.
‘Benches of Redditch’ lovingly depicts 12 benches in and around the West Midlands town and has been compiled by the UK’s self-proclaimed ‘dullest man’.
Retired printer, Kevin Beresford, 69, has been making calendars as a hobby for the last 18 years, including an infamous ‘Best UK Roundabouts’ calendar which first appeared in 2003.
Now, he is hoping to sell more copies of this latest venture than Meghan Markle’s children’s book, ‘The Bench’.
Kevin Beresford, 69, proudly launches his new calendar ‘Benches of Redditch’ while sitting on a bench outside a defunct chip shop.
He hopes the wall calendar will outsell Meghan Markle’s children’s book ‘The Bench’.
Mr Beresford has been making calendars as a hobby for the last 18 years, including an infamous ‘Best UK Roundabouts’ calendar released in 2003
July’s bench on Feckenham village green is described as an ‘utterly delightful, ornate country bench’ which is ‘a mixture of wrought iron and wood’
The grandfather-of-two, from Redditch, spends his time taking pictures of the UK’s most mundane places including prisons, car parks and abandoned insane asylums.
Mr Beresford is also a part of the Dull Men’s Club, as well as being president of the Roundabout Appreciation Society.
He is even president of the Bench Appreciation Society, of which he is the sole member.
A bench for June, as Mr Beresford wryly observes: ‘An all-steel bench with curious scissor-shape arm rests. Located in the busy Winyates shopping centre.
The small ashtray beneath the bench hardly seems adequate for the many smokers that frequent this spot.’
September’s solid log bench is ‘no frills, solid, log-type bench’. Mr Beresford adds: ‘Sitting pretty on a headless cross green opposite ASAP Printers.
The printers of this ripping calendar.’
‘A very popular’ bench outside St Stephen’s Church in Redditch town centre, facing the war memorial, is the monthly focus for December
Mr Beresford said: ‘I like to go around town and just take pictures of things that catch my eye.
‘We pass so many places that we just take for granted on a daily basis, some of which, to me, are actually pieces of art.
‘I wanted to do a bench calendar this time, as a homage to park benches.
‘People use them for all sorts of things, from sitting, sleeping, eating lunch, watching time go by. Back in my day, we used to court on benches.
‘Each bench has a unique story to tell, and my particular favourite was a bench I snapped up on this lovely village green in Sambourne.’
He added: ‘Benches are actually really expensive, so it’s nice that the councils provide some in idyllic places.
A simple wheelchair-friendly bench located in Morton Stanley Park takes pride of place for the month of August
A bench for January: ‘Simple but brilliant little bench overlooking the beautiful Arrow Valley Lake. One of many benches located around Redditch’s best beauty spot.’
May’s bench is a ‘gorgeous circular wooden bench, housed around a small tree’.
Mr Beresford adds: ‘Situated on Sambourne’s pretty village green. Benches don’t come much better than this.’
A war memorial at Inkberrow is the appropriate choice for November, which reads: ‘Circular bench encompassing a thick tree truck that double as a war memorial, Inkberrow.’
‘They’re somewhere where you can just watch the world go by, a place to meditate and relax. People don’t really appreciate benches, they come in all shapes and sizes.
‘Then you have the really poignant ones which have been put in place as a memorial to a loved one.
Mr Beresford spent an entire day walking around Redditch and surrounding areas, Sambourne, Inkberrow and Feckenham with just a camera and a notepad and pen.
He said: ‘It really doesn’t take long to get what you need for a calendar.
After all, I only needed 12!
‘All you need is a good camera, you can even use your phone, and an anorak.’
Just one day after launching the calendar, Mr Beresford was inundated with orders thanks to an appearance on breakfast show ‘This Morning.’
‘A somewhat sad-looking wooden bench standing outside a defunct chip shop on the Evesham Road’ is the star of March
The February bench: ‘A smart wood and metal combo, sitting with its back facing the Black Tap Public House, one of the best pubs in Redditch.’
The star of October is the Astwood Bank bench, facing a children’s play park. ‘This bench is situated in Worcestershire but the background features stunning distant views of the Warwickshire countryside,’ Mr Beresford observes
‘A sturdy metal double bench structure with integral table,’ makes the grade for April. ‘Housed on a brick base, the design is from the classic Ollerton range from Marshals Ltd.’
He said: ‘I’ve already had well over 100 orders, and they just keep coming in.
‘People like to buy calendars as gifts for Christmas, so I feel as though they’ll be flying off the shelves pretty soon.
‘I do hope that I sell more than Meghan Markle. I love her and think she’s great, but I love myself a bit of competition.’
Mr Beresford is also in the process of sharing other calendars, such as a compilation of close ups of footballer Jack Grealish’s calves.
Mr Beresford’s Best UK Roundabouts calendar is still in production.
This roundabout for the month of April in Lewes, West Sussex, is affectionately known as ‘Brian the Snail’ – named after a character from ‘The Magic Roundabout.’
The roundabout for February is Bath’s Lansdown Land Roundabout, which was taken over by a local gardening club after becoming neglected and ‘an eye-sore’
A new roundabout in Coalville, Leicestershire, which looks non-descript from ground level but resembles the sinister Death Star from Star Wars when pictured from above
He said: ‘I think sexy firemen and pop band calendars are overdone.
Having a calendar about benches may be dull to some but is quite unique and fun.
‘Even Jack Grealish’s calves is a bit of a dull one as you don’t get to see the whole thing, but they’ve already been flying off the shelves and I’ve only printed one so far.
‘I like being named Britain’s dullest man, it’s like a badge of honour.
‘I can’t believe people love my calendars as I just enjoy doing them as a hobby.’
For more information, see the calendar’s website here.
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