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It’s a case of RIP (Rot In Peace) for Hereford’s Mercia Man

Shoppers and visitors to Hereford city centre in recent years will have grown accustomed to the sentinel who stands at the entrance to Gaol Street car park.

Carved out of a tree which had become unsafe due to its age, Mercia Man has towered over the car park come rain or shine with his familiar bearded face looking down kindly on motorists and passers-by.

While many have taken his presence for granted, his days are unfortunately numbered.

Mercia Man is now suffering from the effects of too many years of wind and rain and has expressed the wish to retire to more tranquil and natural surroundings to see out the remainder of his days.

Now suffering from considerable joint pain, decay and a major case of foot rot, Mercia Man is finding that standing without the aid of considerable assistance hard to sustain.

He worries for the safety of his regular visitors, should he happen to fall in high winds or in the event of heavy snowfall.

However, all is not lost and those who would wish to express their thanks for his service, as part of their everyday life, will not see his ultimate departure from the city centre quite yet.

He is to remain in place until Monday, June 25, and well-wishers are welcome to post messages to his legs or base if they so wish.

Although retiring from active service, Mercia Man is not moving far to take up his retirement.

He is moving to the slopes of the nearby Aylestone Park to environmentally rot in peace (RIP) where he will lie to let nature take its course.

He hopes that everyone who has enjoyed his company over the years will continue to visit and relive the fond memories of his more prominent role.

“He really has been a gentle giant whose familiar face will be missed,” said Cllr Mark Hubbard, local councillor for the city centre.

“I know many people have become very fond of Mercia Man so I’m glad there’s time for people to say good bye and even post a message to his legs or base telling him what he’s meant to them,” added Cllr Hubbard.