How villagers matched a widower's devotion to keep memorial pristine

Sue and Warren Robinson

Sue and Warren Robinson on their wedding day. They were both 20 years old. - Credit: supplied by Warren Robinson

If you are a regular walking at Winterton it's likely you have stumbled across a touching memorial garden in the dunes.

Comprising a small picket fence embracing a collection of flowers and lovingly-arranged stones and trinkets, many have probably stopped to wonder about the story behind the carefully tended seaside shrine.

Sue Robinson memorial

A memorial to Sue Robinson awash with yellow flowers thanks to villagers in Winterton who laid bouquets on behalf of Warren Robinson who lives away and couldn't travel under the lockdown restrictions. - Credit: Julie Wixey

For six years, Warren Robinson, 55, has been making the journey from his home in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, to honour his wife Sue who died suddenly aged 49.

Their story has now come to light as lockdown restrictions on travel and making essential journeys mean he has had to stay away - reaching out to villagers to help him mark her memory.

Ahead of the sixth anniversary of her death on February 1, Mr Robinson put out a tentative plea on social media asking if anyone would lay flowers on his behalf, which he would, of course, pay for.

Warren and Sue Robinson

Sue and Warren Robinson married in yellow, her favourite colour. He lays yellow flowers in tribute to his wife at Winterton every month, but has had to stay away under lockdown rules. - Credit: supplied by Warren Robinson


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On the day he was touched and overwhelmed to be sent pictures of the site brimming with yellow blooms and even a flower-studded pillow bearing her name - local folk having matched his devotion and pulled out all the stops.

"Everybody has been so fantastic," he said.

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"The amount of flowers that were there is just unbelievable. I am welling up talking about it."

"I normally go every first Sunday of the month.

"It is two and a half hour drive but it gets me out. I think I am classed as a local.

"That was Sue's wish to be scattered on Winterton beach. I put a few yellow flowers and petals there and decided I would do it every month.

"There were stones and flowers and it got a bit more and a bit more, then there was a little white fence.

"I just like to do it."

Sue Robinson

Sue Robinson who died on February 1, 2015. Her devoted husband remembers her with joy and tends a memorial to her set in the sands at Winterton. She loved her garden and he has created a folly at their home - something she always wanted. - Credit: supplied by Warren Robinson

Mr Robinson last visited on December 11, Sue's birthday.

The couple met as teenagers.

Born just five days apart, they discovered they were in the same special care baby unit at the same time - a coincidence that seemed to seal their union.

They married in September just ahead of their 21st birthdays, both in yellow - Sue's favourite colour - after her groom was over-ruled on his choice of claret to reflect his passion for his beloved Northampton Town football team.

Sue and Warren Robinson

Sue and Warren Robinson were 'made for each other'. At 4ft 10in she was his 'pocket rocket'. They were a couple for over 30 years until her sudden death aged 49 in 2015. - Credit: supplied by Warren Robinson

Sue worked for some 30 years at the same nursery, regarding her charges as the children they never had.

She loved her garden and holidays to Winterton with its dog-friendly beach and pub.

At just 4ft 10ins he describes her as his "pocket rocket".

"We were made for each other," he added.

"I got some lovely cards when she passed away.

"The first year was tough. We were going to have a big joint birthday party for being 50.

"But I asked for donations to Lupus UK instead."

Sue Robinson memorial

The memorial to Sue Robinson usually looks like this, but has been covered in yellow blooms following an appeal on social media from her husband who cannot visit during the pandemic and wanted to mark the sixth anniversary of her death in a place they both loved. - Credit: supplied by Warren Robinson

Sue, who suffered with the long-term condition that causes joint and muscle pain, died suddenly after a short illness.

Mr Robinson had travelled on the supporters' coach to see Northampton play away and arrived home to find the house in darkness.

Sue said she had been bad all day and asked him to take the dog out. She died in the night from pneumonia related to lupus.

He said he hoped to holiday in Norfolk this year, adding that he had stayed at the Hermanus with his parents years ago.

"It's a lovely part of the world. It is just so friendly ," he said.

"I just want to say a big thank you to everyone."

Sue and Warren Robinson

Sue and Warren Robinson were devoted to each other. After she died suddenly Sue's ashes were scattered at Winterton and a small memorial has taken root that Mr Robinson tends with regular visits from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. - Credit: supplied by Warren Robinson

Julie Wixey was among those who laid flowers.

She said: "I think we all felt for Warren, not being able to visit on such an important day.

"We just wanted to do what we could to help out."

To fund out more about Lupus or to make a donation visit lupusuk.org.uk.




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