A SON is confused over why a park bench dedicated to his late father has disappeared.

The memorial for actor and Hove resident Andrew Olden – whose professional name was Andrew Ray – was installed in Hove Park after his death in 2003.

Mr Olden was a well-known figure in Hove, where he lived for many years.

A tribute on the bench said: “No time to say goodbye.”

His son, Mark Olden, 53, used to visit it for his father’s birthday and the anniversary of his death each year.

But the last time he went he was shocked to find the bench was no longer there.

He said: “It was a nice place to go as a place of remembrance to sit and contemplate.

“It would have been in October last year when I noticed it was no longer missing and I got in contact with the council immediately.

“It’s quite shocking. It was a special place for my dad and a special place for us to remember him and it’s disappeared.”

Mr Olden said Brighton and Hove City Council promised to get back to him to tell him what has happened.

But, seven months later, it has yet to get in touch and he is still unaware where the tribute has gone.

He said: “It has been upsetting. Perhaps someone has destroyed the bench – mistakes happen. If people have the respect to say that this is what happened, then we would understand.

“But it’s the fact they’ve ignored my queries.”

Andrew Olden, who was born on May 31, 1939, and died on August 20, 2003, was a child star.

He was the son of the radio comic Ted Ray and his wife, showgirl Dorothy Sybil.

At the age of ten, Mr Olden was cast in The Mudlark where he played a street urchin who ends up meeting Queen Victoria.

He also starred in The Yellow Balloon (1953), The System (1964) and the ITC remake of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations.

When contacted by The Argus, Brighton and Hove City Council said: “We’re very sorry to hear that this has happened.

“We are looking into the details of what’s happened to the memorial bench for Andrew Ray.

“Benches do need to be removed if the condition becomes poor or dangerous due to wear or damage.

“When this happens any plaques are kept for a short period of time so that families can choose to keep or replace them.”