LYME Regis is rallying round to raise funds for a memorial bench for well-loved local man Ken Walton.

Mr Walton was found dead on Monmouth Beach on April 19 next to his boat the Mudlark by deputy harbourmaster Mike Higgs.

Floral tributes have been left on Mr Walton’s boat, now situated close to the harbour and the Cobb.

The Volunteer Inn in Broad Street, often referred to as Mr Walton’s favourite pub, has also displayed a ukulele which he used to play.

Now pub manager Ben Walker is encouraging all those who knew Mr Walton to give what they can for a memorial bench near the Cobb.

Mr Walker said: “First of all we thought of a collection for some flowers for Ken’s funeral, which was due to be held in Southampton on Wednesday, May 14.

But then the idea got bigger and we thought a memorial bench for Ken would be perfect.

“He was such a big presence in the Lyme Regis community and his death left the whole community in shock.

“It would be great to have something to remember him by in the town.”

Mr Walker said he had spoken to West Dorset District Council about a memorial bench and was told the total cost for a bench and plaque is £900.

He added: “I know the amount seems like a lot, but we started the collection on May 3 and in just three days we raised £85.

“We have now raised £300 and are a third of the way towards the target for Ken.

“There are some people who knew Ken who don’t come into the pub, so we simply want to get the word out about the memorial bench in an effort to raise as much as we can.”

A funeral wake was also held at the pub on May 10 in memory of Mr Walton.

Donations can be given to Ben at the Volunteer Inn, to deputy harbourmaster Mike Higgs or by calling the pub on 01297 442214.