Grieving Rugby man told he can no longer lay flowers on partner's grave - The Rugby Observer

Grieving Rugby man told he can no longer lay flowers on partner's grave

Rugby Editorial 28th Aug, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

A GRIEVING Rugby man is distraught after being told he can no longer lay flowers for his late partner.

Nigel Knight lost his partner of 11-years Catherine in February and, since her funeral the following month, he has visited her grave every day at Croop Hill Cemetery on Addison Road.

But the memorial area where he and others with family and loved ones buried nearby are able to put flowers, pictures and other mementos, is set be turfed over so a sit-on lawnmower can be used to maintain the area.

But 55-year-old Nigel argues he and others tend to the area themselves with a strimmer so the area is always well presented.

Memorial plaques and stones mark the graves of those buried, but the laying flowers was encouraged in the separate memorial area.

Nigel told The Observer: “Having somewhere to look after and put flowers for my partner means a lot to me and the thought of it just being turfed over is very distressing.

“It’s a very nice area of the cemetery and all of us with loved-ones there look after it. There is a stone border and lights around where we put flowers so it always looks nice, especially when it’s lit up at night.”

Relatives have heard of the plans from groundsmen but have yet to receive any official conformation from Rugby Borough Council which manages the cemetery.

A council spokesman said: “We operate a lawned grave policy in the majority of Croop Hill Cemetery which does not permit decorations, tributes or plants on graves other than in, or on, the borders of the headstone.

“We state the policy clearly in our notice of interment.

“We endeavour to enforce the policy in a sensitive and compassionate manner. However, we re-turf lawned grave sections in our cemeteries every year and require all items to be removed from lawned graves in order for this to take place.

“We give advance notice of the work in order for relatives to remove items before re-turfing and store all items for six months so relatives can collect them.

“We do have a limited number of traditional graves at the cemetery and relatives who require a grave where kerb surrounds are permitted should advise their funeral director.”

Nigel’s mum is also buried at Croop Hill so he and his 82-year-old Dad – whom he helps care for – find comfort in visiting the graves regularly. He said just the idea of the memorial area being removed had been terribly upsetting for them both.

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