Updated: Monday, 6th April 2020 @ 1:22pm

‘Their memories will live on’: Garden unveiled for Manchester officers Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes killed on duty

‘Their memories will live on’: Garden unveiled for Manchester officers Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes killed on duty

By Pippa Field & Aimee Howarth

The father of murdered police officer Fiona Bone spoke publically for the first time at the unveiling of a memorial garden at Hyde Police Station today.

The garden was created as a tribute to Officer Bone and colleague Nicola Hughes, both of whom were tragically killed on duty in Hattersley on September 18.

At the service of dedication and official unveiling attended by police, the public and the women’s families, Paul Bone spoke of his gratitude for the support they have received.

“We, as a family, are immensely grateful for the support we’ve had as a community and the police forces of Greater Manchester and elsewhere,” he said.

“I don’t think we could have coped without the support of our family liaison officer and the kindness of all those other officers and staff we have encountered over the last few months.

“I hope that everyone who knew Fiona and Nicola as friends, families and colleagues, can draw consolation from this garden and the strength to recover from what has been a terrible tragedy for all of us.”

The garden includes a stone monument, plaques and seating area to permanently remember the two officers.

Mr Bone hopes the area will become a sanctuary for police officers and the community alike away from the stresses of the world, where they can reflect in peace.

“It will be a place where people can come to recharge themselves with a dose of peace and tranquillity,” he said.

“As well as delegating the garden to them, this garden is a reminder to ourselves of Fiona and Nicola’s unfinished work, to look after each other and to help and protect each other.

“If we do this Fiona and Nicola will not have died in vein.”

Following a minute’s silence to remember the two women, two plaques were unveiled before members of the officers’ families released doves in their memories.

Police sergeant James Gray played the bagpipes, accompanied by George Borowski on acoustic guitar.

Speaking on behalf of the Hughes family, family liaison officer Natalie Watters explained how important it is to have such a permanent monument.

“To have such a focal point at Hype Police Station where everyone can come along and join in peace and public reflection means a great deal to us,” she said.

“It will serve as a reminder for lost colleagues and to the general public of the sacrifice made by these two young officers.

“Their memories will live on, not only in the hearts of their families but also for their colleagues at the police station and for people who visit the memorial garden.”

Created through donations from the community, the police and businesses, the garden is located at the front of Hyde Police Station headquarters.

Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy hopes the public will also use it to pay their own respects.

He said: “I think it’s really fitting that the garden has been created outside the walls of the police station so that ordinary members of the public can also come here and use it as a way of remembrance and reflection.

“The attack on them was an attack on the whole community. It is important to remember that and this garden allows us to do that.”

Also speaking at the service, Tameside Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Nick Adderley, added the garden will serve as a symbol and unity and strength for the community.

“It’s really special day and I thank everyone for turning up and all your support for what is going to be an everlasting monument to two of our officers that were killed.

“It is an incredible landmark. It shows what we are about as a force and as a community.

“On behalf of my officers here in Tameside I want to say thank you.”

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