Husband's anguish over cemetery rules

ONLY one bunch of flowers can be placed on graves in a cemetery near Weaverham because of committee rules.

Stanley Brown, 77, of Rowan Road, received a letter in the summer from the joint burial committee of Gorstage cemetery asking him not to put more than one set of flowers on the grave of his late wife, Violet.

She died in December 2008 after being rushed to Leighton Hospital on the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary.

The issue arose after he placed £20 worth of red roses on the grave on Wednesday, October 15, and when he went back the next day he found them not on the grave but in a shed.

The letter informed him that if more than one set of flowers was placed they would be kept in the shed at the site and be handed back.

His granddaughter Kimberley Brown, 23, of Walnut Avenue, told the Guardian that he was very upset.

“Loads of people have been sent a letter saying they must remove some of their flowers and it is just upsetting.

“It is how my granddad is dealing with it all. He goes up there to the cemetery four times a day and on his last visit at 7pm he lights a candle because my gran was afraid of the dark.

“He can’t afford to keep spending this sort of money on flowers when he is a pensioner and they are taking them off.”

Kimberley said she had spoken to John Freeman, chairman of Weaverham, Cuddington and Acton Bridge cemetery committee about the issue.

“We were not told anything about putting flowers on the graves when we bought the plot,” she said.

“I have known John for years and he told us you can’t put flowers on the grass because it is their property and you can only have one set on the grave at a time.”

John told the Guardian that due to the layout and upkeep of the cemetery they have had to inform plot owners they are only allowed room for a single set of flowers.

“We have put a concrete plinth across and people are allowed to put a headstone and a vase on it,” he said.

“One or two have built gardens in front of the headstone which is what breaks the rules and doesn’t help the gardener when he is mowing.

“We went up last week and removed a couple of the obstructions and put them in a room and people can collect them – that is why we sent a letter out in the summer.”

John added: “If people want to have a chat with us then that is fine – we will do that.”

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