‘Make the best of today, look forward to tomorrow’
Our family wanted to do something to create lasting memories of Chris.
He will never be forgotten, of course, but the idea of sponsoring benches in parks and creating other lasting tributes seemed appropriate.
Chris’s sporting interests included Golf, Cricket, Football and Kick Boxing as a player and Tennis, Snooker and Boxing as a spectator. As a boy he mastered ice skating and was a keen swimmer and played both football and cricket for Manchester boys.
Chris had also supported charity by doing a sponsored 10K run, was a member of his local gym and of course was a season ticket holder at Manchester City Football Club.
Chris was a travel agent much of his working life and had travelled extensively with his wife Ruth.
Chris was an advanced driver and had owned many cars always looking for that next great car. A passion he shared with his Dad.
We found a quote that Chris has written on a piece of paper, it simply said :
‘Make the best of today, look forward to tomorrow’
MILL LANE, CHEADLE
We chose this location because of its proximity to his home.
TATTENHALL, NEAR CHESTER
Ken and Barbara moved to Tattenhall in 2009, which is just 8 miles south of Chester. Chris and Ruth visited many times of course and on most visits would walk into the village through the park. Christmas time was always a family occasion and for many years, Ken and Barbara would host Christmas at their house, with Chris and Ruth, Steve, Laura and Alice as well as Ruth’s mum, Ronnie and Laura’s mum Jill and brother Alan all usually in attendance.
As Tattenhall holds such great memories of Chris, we decided to approach the parish council and they readily agreed that a bench could be sponsored providing it was made by the local blacksmith, Andrew Smith as he was responsible for doing not only all the park benches but all the local ironmongery. Notably he made a horse in commemoration of the role horses played in the first world war *(see picture).
Co incidentally we have noticed that you can see the bench from the front bedroom of Ken and Barbara’s house.
Tribute on Bench : In loving memory of Chris Johnson. A great man much loved and sadly missed.
ENDMOOR, NEAR KENDAL
The Johnson family have a long association with the Lake District having shared many family holidays there since the early 1980’s.
Chris’s Mum and Dad, Ken and Barbara bought a mobile home at Millbrook Caravan Park in 2010. Chris and Ruth visited the area a number of times in recent years and it was to be in the children’s park in the village of Endmoor that we last saw Chris on Good Friday 18 April 2014, having shared a meal in the Hare & Hounds pub.
Therefore it seemed appropriate that we agreed with the Preston Richard Parish Council to install a bench in the park.
Tribute on bench : In memory of Chris Johnson. We all miss your smile.
BRUNTWOOD PARK, CHEADLE
Chris had visited this park many times with his family especially during his youth and this park continues to be popular with friends and family alike. It is the home of Bruntwood Hall in over 100 Acres of parkland.
The bench itself is near to the aviary not far from the duck pond and within sight of both the children’s play area and the old hall itself.
TRIBUTE ON PLAQUE : In loving memory of a great man. Memories of love and laughter. Missed by everyone.
Chris lived in Cheadle for over 15 Years and we approached the Cheadle Civic society (Cheadlecivicsociety.org) who were renovating Cheadle green which is the site of Cheadle Old Hall and they agreed we could sponsor a bench.
The bench is one of 3. As you sit on the bench you are looking across the green into the high street of Cheadle a place Chris visited innumerable times and a place with an incredible amount of local history.
TRIBUTE ON PLAQUE : In memory of a great man, much loved and sadly missed.
DIDSBURY CRICKET CLUB
Chris was passionate about his cricket. He achieved school boy honours having played for Manchester and had trials for Lancashire County.
Chris became a playing member of Didsbury CC in 1984 and played there for over 10 years touring up and down the country on a regular basis. We approached the club secretary and he readily gave his consent to having a bench installed just by the clubhouse overlooking the pitch where Chris had played so many times.
Tribute on bench : In memory of Chris Johnson who loved to watch and play cricket at Didsbury CC.
Chris grew up in Wythenshawe and together with brother Steve spent many hours playing in this huge park.
We decided to put a picnic bench in the Horticultural area because of its tranquility. Its an ideal place for a picnic !
The inscription on the bench reads :
In memory of a great man
Chris Johnson ( 1972- 2014)
Memories of love and laughter
Missed by everyone
Wythenshawe Park, Horticultural Centre
Wythenshawe Park Horticultural Centre
MANCHESTER CITY FOOTBALL CLUB
Chris has followed City for over 30 years and for a number of years has been, along with brother Steve, a season ticket holder. Chris was also a member of the supporters club and had collected hundreds of programmes (now given to the supporters club) and went to Wembley on numerous occasions.
In addition to including a tribute in a match programme we have decided to include a brick in the memorial area within City’s ground as a lasting tribute.
CHEADLE HULME METHODIST CHURCH
Ken and Barbara are members and following a discussion with Ruth and Steve we decided to hold Chris’s Celebration of Life service here. Ruth has also commissioned a prayer table with a cross as a further tribute to Chris.
One of many coincidences is that although Chris did not attend this church he did donate blood there for the blood transfusion service.
The service was conducted by the Reverend Joy Levine. Joy also officiated at Ken & Barbara’s wedding and baptised Chris in 1973.
A Celestial Star
Brother Steve decided to name a star in Chris’s memory and this can be found in the northern sky in the constellation Ursa Minor (Little Bear).
Lunar Mission One plan to send an international robotic lander to the South Pole of the Moon, an area unexplored on previous missions. Innovative drilling technology will be used to drill down to a depth of 20 metres.
We will be sending digital information about Chris, precise details to be agreed within the family and this will be buried in a time capsule for future explorers to discover. The primary purpose of Lunar Mission One will be to carry out scientific experiments that will provide significant insights into the origins and evolution of the moon and earth.