A brown wooden bench beneath the Surrey Central SkyTrain track has been trapped behind bars for years

Imprisoned Surrey bench to be set free

New paint job and home for slatted seat. Public invited to paint it on Oct. 17.

After years behind bars, the so-called imprisoned bench in Whalley is going to be set free.

The brown wooden bench and its sidekick, the green lamppost, have been locked behind a steel fence beneath the Surrey Central SkyTrain track for nearly a decade. Many years ago, as part of a crime prevention initiative in the neighbourhood, blue fencing was erected around the offending bench, presumably to dissuade people from loitering.

And there the seat sat, year after year, unable to be sat upon.

This summer, the bench became the subject of a series of “interbenchions,” where guerilla artists swept in undetected and dressed up the bench and surrounding area. The first time, the anonymous public art enthusiasts injected some comfort, adding throw pillows, blankets, and tables with flowers and books to the area.

Other displays followed, such as a Christmas in July display, complete with a tree, faux chimney and gifts, and a pale green Benchasauraus followed soon after (check www.interbenchion.blogspot.com).

But now the incarcerated two-sided bench is about to be sprung from its jail – due to its good behaviour – and will soon be relocated.

Before that happens, however, the slatted seating is getting one last makeover.

On Monday (Oct. 17), the public is invited to freshen up the bench with a splash of colour and creativity. The City of Surrey is providing paint and brushes from 2-5:30 p.m.

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