Bench unveiled in tribute to tragic Hartlepool toddler Jacob Jenkins

“An angel brought us together so that he could say goodbye.”

The simple verse pays tribute to little Jacob Jenkins, the boy who united a town.

Jacob Jenkins' parents David Jenkins and Abigail Wilson at the unveiling of a memorial bench. Picture by JOE SPENCE

Jacob Jenkins' parents David Jenkins and Abigail Wilson at the unveiling of a memorial bench. Picture by JOE SPENCE

The whole of Hartlepool came together in grief when the two-year-old passed away in hospital days after choking on a grape during a meal out with parents David Jenkins and Abigail Wilson.

Dozens of yellow balloons were released from the seafront at Seaton Carew to wish him well and now a permanent tribute has been unveiled in the same colour at the spot.

A seafront bench carries a plaque with the quote above.

Abigail and David were joined by family and friends for the unveiling.

The plaque on the bench unveiled today in tribute to Jacob Jenkins.

The plaque on the bench unveiled today in tribute to Jacob Jenkins.

“I love it,” said Abigail.

“I was just gobsmacked by it – I did not expect it to be so bright.

“I just know Jacob would have really loved it.”

The couple have been overwhelmed by the support they have received from the community since Jacob’s tragic death.

Jacob Jenkin's parents Abigail Wilson and David Jenkins at the unveiling of a memorial bench for their son. Picture by JOE SPENCE

Jacob Jenkin's parents Abigail Wilson and David Jenkins at the unveiling of a memorial bench for their son. Picture by JOE SPENCE

“I have been so surprised by how much reaction there has been,” said Abigail.

“It has been really strengthening for us.”

David echoed her comments.

“It is amazing to see,” he said.

“I can’t thank everybody enough for what they have done.”

The bench refurbishment was the brainchild of community campaigners Stephen Picton and Tony Mann.

“The bench was a real mess,” said Stephen.

“The wind had left it badly weather-beaten.

“I want to thank everyone who helped and especially Eco Timber, who provided the wood, and Overcoat Finishing, who shot-blasted the legs and did them in a black gloss finish.

“And I would like to thank the council for giving us permission.

“I think they were just expecting us to bring a tin of paint – they weren't expecting the bench to go missing for a week.”