BENCHES that were stolen from next to a village war memorial have been replaced.

The benches went missing from Hoddlesden war memorial last September.

But stonemason Brent Stevenson stepped in to replace them free of charge.

The new benches, which are made out of granite, have been installed facing towards the memorial, whereas the original benches were facing away.

They have also been engraved with the words: “As I sit here weary and tired and feeling old, I look up and remember they will never grow old.”

Another message says: “As I sit here in Hoddlesden and watch the sun go down, I know everyone here will always remember them. 100-year anniversary 1914 - 2014”.

Coun Julie Slater, who represents the village on Blackburn with Darwen Council, said everyone in the village was very grateful to Mr Stevenson.

She said: “I am delighted. We have waited for them for quite a while and they are now in place for the First World War anniversary.

“We cannot thank Brent enough for replacing them.

“They are really nice and we like the verses engraved on them.

“Brent deserves a community award for all he has done in the area.”

The benches went missing at the same time as one was stolen from outside the home of David Graham, which was a memorial to his son, David.

Mr Stevenson also replaced that bench free of charge.

He said: “We are always on the lookout for projects like this as I like to give something back to the community. A lot of people were saying they looked really nice, so they have gone down very well.”