A PENSIONER has had a park named in her honour after her deeply poignant life story moved judges.

The Lyons Yard green land, on Ravenhead Greenway Park, has officially been re-christened the Vera Page Park following hundreds of submissions advocating worthy candidates to have the site named after them as part of the Hearts of Glass arts project.

On Saturday the renaming was officially revealed as Vera's emotional story was chosen judges panel including Johnny Vegas, Saints' James Roby, council leader Barrie Grunewald and artistic duo Yellow Door Artists.

The park is named after Vera Bowes, 81, from Fingerpost, who during one of the campaign's workshops nominated herself as a child, using her original name of Vera Page.

Vera's real mother had died while she was a baby and, with her dad not wanting her after remarrying, she was brought up by her grandmother.

But when Vera was aged just four her grandmother died and she was brought up by her Aunt Rose. Vera believed Rose was mother until at the age of 15 she was told the truth.

Later in life Vera had five children but suffered the anguish of losing two as well as having to cope with domestic abuse which led to her having a breakdown, with nurses even having to teach her to walk and talk again.

On being chosen, Vera said: "I can't believe all this is happening. It's like a dream, I keep thinking I'll wake up in a bit. I'm just an ordinary person. Fancy wanting my name for a park in St Helens. I'm proud, so proud."

Artist Joshua Sofaer led the project and came up with the idea for Your Name Here.

"We got hundreds of nominations and it was really difficult for the judges to work out which should be chosen for the park," he said.

"They included celebrities and people from history who have been forgotten but what the judges wanted to do was to have an ordinary person who would never normally be given this kind of tribute.

"What touched them about Vera's nomination was they wanted the park to stand for people. The idea of abandoned children, for us all, we think about the person we were when we were a child, especially those who have suffered and had an unhappy childhood."

Joshua added that the response the competition received from the St Helens public had surpassed his expectations.

"I thought if we got 40 I'd be pleased and we got hundreds and people have been talking about it. We live in a celebrity culture now but we didn't get one entry without substance and they were all thought through nominations of forgotten figures or personal connections. It was really humbling and moving."