‘Workers have dumped soil on family graves’ - Gaywood cemetery

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Latest news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter

A mother was devastated after soil and boards were thrown onto the graves of her parents and son.

Patricia Brown takes great pride and care of the plots of her son Dane Allison, who died suddenly at the age of 49, and her parents, Lily May and William Fox, in Gaywood cemetery.

But the week before Christmas she was horrified to learn that workers had left boards and soil on her plots while digging a new grave.

Mrs Brown, 78, of Westmark, Fairstead, stayed away from the cemetery to give time for the graves to be returned to their normal state. But, on her return, she was horrified to find her solar lights and decorations dumped on the plot.

Mrs Brown said: “I am really disgusted. I try to keep the graves looking nice as it is important to me. It is disrespectful to dump soil on them.

“I paid for the plots so surely they should have phoned and asked if it was alright to do that.”

Mrs Brown lost her son Dane in February 2012 and had her parents exhumed from a cemetery in London to be reburied in Gaywood.

Over the last two years, she has also had solar lights stolen from the graves along with a wreath just before Christmas.

A spokeswoman for West Norfolk Council has apologised, but said the only space for the soil from a grave dug for a funeral on December 23 was on the neighbouring plots.

She said boards were laid over the graves to protect them, cloths placed on the headstone and ornaments removed, so they were not damaged. The material was then removed after the funeral.

She said: “We understand how distressing it can be for people to see this, and understand that it is not ideal, but unfortunately, there is no other way of doing this work given the space constraints.

“We can assure Mrs Brown that our staff are respectful at all times and completely understand how important it is not to cause any damage or additional distress. Our staff did speak to a family member on site on the day and explained what was happening. He seemed satisfied with the explanation.

“We can only apologise for any distress caused to Mrs Brown and assure her everything was done in accordance with normal practice and carried out with the greatest respect.”