Love that new seat
RESTORING an old and rundown tram bench on their berm was a true labour of love for the Schnabel family.
The wooden seat was installed on the Curran St sidewalk by the previous tenants as a place for people to rest when walking up the hill.
‘‘We felt that this was a little act of love to the community to have a bench, but the bench then fell into disrepair and was vandalised,’’ Ralf Schnabel says.
‘‘So we decided to give it a new lease of life, but we wanted to give it a theme, which is the theme of love.’’
The family’s first challenge was sourcing the 100-year-old hardwood to fix the unusual seat.
‘‘That was very difficult. I can tell you it was very hard,’’ Dr Schnabel says.
‘‘That was the biggest act of love in restoring it,’’ his wife Helen jokes.
Following the repair job, the family began painting the seat a romantic red and stories started coming out of the woodwork.
‘‘It was interesting. While we worked on this bench so many people passed by and shared their own stories of this bench,’’ Mr Schnabel says.
People spoke of having their first kiss there, or sharing a special moment with their children. ‘‘It was so lovely,’’ he says. To carry the theme of love the Schnabels have stuck plaques with ‘‘love’’ written in several languages onto the bench.
They have also invited people to hang bells and messages of love in a nearby tree.
The family have also put a semi-secret plaque in the ground to mark their sentiments.
‘‘It’s visible to those who stop to take a rest,’’ Mr Schnabel says.