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The counter-memorial bench
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Located ‘at the end of the line’

I’ve come over to the Isle of Man for work, staying in a hotel in Douglas and enjoying an evening of sea views from my hotel window.

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Looking up to Onchan where I sat eating my haddock and chips

Already I’ve found an Archaeodeath memorial, or one might say, counter-memorial (perhaps a counter-death memorial?). It is a memorial installed specifically to celebrate those that help those in trouble and need and to stop people dying at that location.

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Happy Prof eating chips, haddock all gone

I had walked along the promenade, up to Port Jack and along the cliff top at Onchan and back. I then explored the Port Jack Glen, had some fish and chips, and then returned via the beach to my hotel.

In the Port Jack Glen there were pretty standard memorial benches. There was even a ‘Millennium Shelter’.

However, the bench I had sat on to eat my food was different. It enjoyed splendid views over Douglas (as did the fish bar close by it must be said). Moreover, it was a counter-memorial plaque, commemorating the work of the Samaritans and perhaps also intending to encourage those who might think of taking their own life on the cliffs to reflect again.

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View from the memorial bench

Sitting on this counter-memorial bench, installed to commemorate those that help many people who find themselves losing the will to live, combating thoughts and acts of suicide, I felt very happy.

Why?

Many reasons.

I had haddock and chips on my lap, splendid views over the bay, the sounds of wind and sea. I also enjoyed watching crows, jackdaws, herring gulls and fulmars fly by.

All this was wonderful. However, these weren’t sufficient to convince me of the joys of life. For that, I have the Samaritans to thank.

This is because I was amused by their double entendre of the phrase ‘always at the end of the line’ being enhanced by the bench’s location. As well as the Sarmaritans being ‘on the line’ in response to individuals who feel they are at the end of the line, the memorial bench isn’t far from the southerly terminus of the Manx Electric Railway. This bench is also always at the end of the line…

Therefore, I believe triple entendres are something worth living for…

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Derby Castle terminus of the MER: a few hundred metres from the counter-memorial bench
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The cliffs below the counter-memorial bench
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