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Memorial benches removed from Honor Oak Crematorium
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Posts: 119
Joined: Nov 2016
Post: #1
17-10-2018 10:36 AM

Families of loved ones at the crematorium in Brockley Way describe being heartbroken by the actions of Southwark Council.

Patrick Whelan, whose daughter’s ashes are scattered by her bench, said it was “absolutely disgusting” that he had to bring her memorial home.

His daughter, Karen Whelan, died 12 years ago aged 37.

“It is so disrespectful,” he added. “I have other relatives whose ashes are scattered around the bench and when we visit it feels like they are there with us.”

He said the council told him his 10-year tenure was up, but he claims to never have signed such a contract.

“There is no tenure they just want to redevelop,” Patrick said. “I asked them to show me my signed tenure, but they said they didn’t have it.

“There are benches that have been there since 1938, I don’t think those families have been paying a 10-year tenure.”

Cathy Erskine, 54, was one of the first to come forward after learning her dad’s bench had been removed.

She claims no notice was placed on her bench and argues she would have brought it back to her garden if she had known.

Cathy told News Shopper: “I am absolutely fuming. My poor step mum is in her 80s and is heartbroken.

“My dad’s bench was nowhere near the redevelopment. I did see more benches that had been removed and put in the yard in the gardens. I am so stressed over this.”

It has been reported other benches have also been removed from the crematorium.

Councillor Richard Livingstone said: “We are very sorry for the distress caused by ongoing work to improve Honor Oak Crematorium.

“We hope to create a new burial and memorial space for the future, including a new, dedicated peace garden for babies and children’s memorials, as well as creating a more pleasant, peaceful and well-maintained site for families.

“We are very aware that this work can have an impact on people who visit the memorials of loved ones in this part of the crematorium.

“We ensured notices advising of the changes and how to contact us about them, were in the area from April this year and we are already working with Mrs Erskine and other families and would encourage anyone with concerns or questions to get in touch with us now.”

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Posts: 222
Joined: Feb 2016
Post: #2
17-10-2018 11:20 AM

Totally wrong for Southwark to behave like this, benches often have an inscription in memory of the person they are remembering. What do Southwark think they are doing?? As said some of these benches are really old but still in good condition. They should not just be taken and "dumped somewhere". I do remember seeing a van drive in and two benches were thrown into the back and driven off.

I was at the crem for a service last week and saw one notice informing those coming to the crem that a new section was being "arranged". apart from that, I did not see any other notices.

I have copied and pasted this elsewhere to spread the news.

This post was last modified: 17-10-2018 11:26 AM by samuelsen.

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Posts: 553
Joined: May 2010
Post: #3
17-10-2018 06:59 PM

Completely tactless behaviour from folk who are elected to serve us.

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Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2018
Post: #4
18-10-2018 07:58 PM

Truly shocking.
I’m very sorry for all families affected by this as I know from personal experience that a memorial is a very special place.
I’m becoming more shocked by the world we live in and losing faith in the local authorities.

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