The Roger Bucklesby Bench Plaque Is Real, Sort Of
There really is a plaque in London that says "In memory of Roger Bucklesby. Who hated this park, and everyone in it." But there never was a Roger Bucklesby.
Last week, this picture went viral across the internet.
The image got thousands of retweets, millions of views on Imgur, over half a million likes on Facebook. The trouble was, nobody was sure where the bench was, or if the plaque was real. Was it Photoshopped? Was it a real-life hoax? Was there ever a person called Roger Bucklesby?
Here's the answer:
The man behind Roger Bucklesby is author Jamie Maslin. He installed the plaque just two weeks ago — the day before leaving the country to emigrate to Australia.
It wasn't long before she let me know what a whinger I was being and in that moment Roger was born; we began joking about a fitting bench plaque to encapsulate my current cantankerous disposition.
The name Roger Bucklesby sounded quintessentially British and somehow irritable and Victorian. Old Roger lifted my spirits and soon we were working on his backstory – a prolific author but never published, getting bitterer and bitterer with every failed submission. At first he came to the park for inspiration but eventually he began to resent the place for encouraging him to chase his dreams. It gave us such a good laugh (and cheered me up immensely) that we decided to get the plaque made.
The bench itself is in a slightly out-of-the-way area of a very well-known North London park.
Just to confuse things further, Maslin also provided this image of a commemorative blue plaque for Roger.
We had no plans for this to turn into an internet hit, we just hoped the occasional passerby would see it and have a giggle. It seems we've done plenty of that.