On 24th October 2012, a blue plaque was unveiled in honour of Benny Rothman, who was fondly remembered as a life-long campaigner, a rambler, a father and a friend. Benny Rothman was the leader of the mass trespass on Kinder Scout in 1932
It was in 2000 that the Countryside and Rights of Way Act was finally enshrined in law allowing the right to roam which Benny fought so hard for. The plaque in honour of Benny was unveiled at his home of 58 years on Crofton Avenue, Timperley, where he continued to campaign.
M.E.N. columnist Roly Smith, who knew Benny for 20 years said: "He was always fighting for more rights of access. He even fought to keep the right of way alongside his house, and he won that one too. He was a tremendous campaigner. It is very fitting to remember someone who did so much for so many people. The freedom that we have got is all down to Benny.
"I once went for a walk with him on the trespass route. He was in his 70s at the time but he still walked like a train, I couldn’t keep up. I loved him, a lot of people did.”
Timperley residents and ramblers gathered at the special ceremony and spoke of Benny’s achievements.
Jerry Pearlman, of the Ramblers Association, said: "For so many years Benny Rothman has been an utter hero to me."
"He caused me to get interested in the access movement. One of the proudest moments of my life was to find out I was on a ramble with his son.”
The plaque in memory of Benny was unveiled by his children, Professor Harry Rothman and Marion Thilo.
Professor Rothman recalled fond memories of his childhood at the house. He said: "I think people along this street would remember Benny most for his ability to shout to me to come home for my dinner. Like father like son, I did tend to wander off.
"We’re tremendously proud and delighted that this plaque has been offered as a tribute to him by Trafford Council.”
Mrs Thilo remembered her father as a quirky man. She said: "When everyone else went to church in their Sunday best our father was taking us out into the countryside in our walking gear.
My father was very modest about his work with the outdoor movement. He would have said: ‘I haven’t done this on my own"
Cllr. Jonathan Coupe, of Trafford council, said: "We are so very proud that this plaque will be unveiled here in Timperley.
To have such a plaque in your name means you have made a big impression on society. It’s because of Mr Rothman that we are able to enjoy our countryside as freely as we can today.”