FLOWERS left in tribute to a proud Rugbeian were stolen within days of being left in a town park.
Sheila Knee passed away aged 81 on Saturday August 18, and on the following Friday her neighbour James Richardson placed flowers in her memory under a tree in Caldecott Park, near to the entrance on Lancaster Road.
James, who lived next door but one to Shelia in Worcester Road for 23 years, explained: “Sheila was well-liked – not just by the neighbourhood, but throughout Rugby.
“She would regularly walk through the park to the town centre and it was one of her favourite places in Rugby – a town she loved.
“I put the flowers there in tribute – purposely by that particular tree as so many people who knew Sheila would have seen them – but when I returned three days later they had been taken.
“I was shocked. Whoever took them has not got a heart.
“I told my neighbours and they were equally shocked and annoyed. I just don’t know how anyone could do such a thing.”
The 53-year-old was so angry he returned to the spot and left a note for whoever took the flowers.
“I said thank you for taking the flowers left in memory of my neighbour – and ‘shame on you’.”
A spokesman for Rugby Borough Council (RBC) said there was no council policy to clear away floral tributes from parks.
Coun Maggie O’Rourke, who represents Benn Ward in which the park is situated, added: “I’m saddened to hear that this has happened, particularly as Mr Richardson has got such fond memories of Ms Knee. Obviously it’s really important to him, and it must be quite upsetting for him.
“I’d like to think it wasn’t removed by RBC staff, but I will raise the issue with the head of parks services to find out. Sometimes a little bit of flexibility, common sense and sensitivity is required.”
Sheila grew up in Wood Street before moving to Worcester Road in the early 1950s.
For many years she worked at English Electric – now GEC – until she retired 20 years ago. She never married, but leaves a sister-in-law and three nieces.
Her funeral will take place at Rainsbrook Crematorium on Friday September 14, starting at 2pm.