Memorial request for lost loved ones

John Owens FAMILY and friends are being asked to help restore the headstone memorials of lost loved ones which, in their current state, are posing a threat to the public.

John Owens

FAMILY and friends are being asked to help restore the headstone memorials of lost loved ones which, in their current state, are posing a threat to the public.

After inspections of Caister Borough and Gorleston Old cemeteries for health and safety, a final appeal is being made to attract people to help preserve the graves of those they care for.

Certain memorials were marked out on the site as being potentially dangerous due to their weakened state, mainly because of their age and weather conditions.

The appeal is asking those with ties to the deceased to buy the lease on the site, known as a transfer of the right of burial.

This will allow them the legal ownership of the deeds of the site and the chance to repair it.

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Bereavement services manager for the borough council Linda Bigg explained that people often don't know they have relatives in nearby cemeteries.

“In a lot of occasions family members are not aware that there is a grave there with a headstone on, as graves used to have a 100 year lease life.”

She also said that in purchasing the lease of the sites, which are often owned by the deceased, as well as being able to restore the memorial they might be able to use existing family burial space.

“It ensures that the graves go on through the family, and it means keeping the family together. It makes sense when grave space is so scarce and so expensive.”

Mrs Bigg added that, in previous years, and especially before safety checks were obligatory, there were a number of incidents of people being crushed by unsafe memorials.

Previous appeals, posted last July and November, follow a year's space in which letters sent to the registered address of the deed owner and notices placed on the memorials received no response. However, this week is the last chance before the process ends on Tuesday.

Those with access to the deeds can buy the lease for �34.50, while those without would pay �51.50, before taking on the costs of restoration.

Describing the safety checks, a memorial inspector said: “We carry out a visual inspection first, paying special attention to the bottom joint between the concrete foundations and the marble upright, as the concrete can crack and any pressure on it could cause it to fall.”

Those interested should contact bereavement services on 01493 441974, or email bereavement@great-yarmouth.gov.uk.

THE following memorials are due for repair, with and the bracketed date refers to the year of death:

Caister Borough Cemetery:

Florence (1967) and Albert (1975) GROOM

Ethel (1962) and Sidney (1996) WARD

Gorleston Old Cemetery:

Alice (1955) and Albert (1956) ROUSE

Eva (1955) and Harold (1973) HOLMES

Charles (1957), Florence (1961) and Ralph (1962) CASEY

Ethel (1996) and John (1968) WRIGHT

Frances (1987) DOHERTY

Doris (1989) and Arthur (2000) EARLE

Edith (1998) and Ernest (1999) CHILDS

George (1958) and Ellen (1976) PALMER

George (1937), May (1961) and Cyril (1990) WHITE

Bernard (1950) and Ellen (1970) NICHOLS