Plaque to Benny Rothman unveiled
Benny Rothman, a key leader of the 1932 Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout and tireless campaigner for greater access to the countryside, was honored yesterday with the unveiling of a new blue plaque on his former home in Timperley, Cheshire.
A group of about 50 relatives, ramblers, friends and former neighbours gathered outside house in Crofton Avenue as the plaque was unveiled by Benny’s son Harry and daughter Marion. Erected by Trafford Council, the plaque officially commemorates Bernard “Benny” Rothman (1911-2002), “Environmental and Access Campaigner”, who lived at the address for over 50 years.
“I think people in this street would remember Benny most for his ability to shout to me to come home for my dinner,” joked Harry, while Marion recalled her father’s interest in natural history. “When everyone else went to church in their Sunday best, Dad was taking us out into the countryside in our walking gear.”
Roly Smith, representing the Kinder and High Peak Advisory Committee which organised the Kinder 80 celebrations in April, reminded the audience that Benny’s involvement in fighting for access and the countryside did not end 80 years ago with the trespass. The Ramblers’ Jerry Pearlman said that Benny Rothman had been “an utter hero” to him. “He caused me to get interested in the access movement, and was responsible for organising the Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout, which was the catalyst for all we’ve achieved since.”
“We are so very proud that this plaque is being unveiled here in Timperley,” says Cllr Jonathan Coupe, executive member for Safe, Strong Communities for Trafford Council. “To have such a plaque in your name means you have made a big impression on society. It’s because of Mr Rothman that we are able to enjoy our countryside as freely as we can today.”
For more on Benny’s legacy, visit the trespass website: www.kindertrespass.com
Image: Marion Thilo and Harry Rothman after unveiling the blue plaque. Photo by Keith Warrender.