Families left heartbroken by condition of cemetery

Tracey Belchamber, William Hall and Sardia Frankland at Whitby Cemetery''w124203f
Tracey Belchamber, William Hall and Sardia Frankland at Whitby Cemetery''w124203f

SEVERAL of Whitby’s biggest families say they have been left devastated and heartbroken by the state of the town’s cemetery after recent visits to relatives’ graves.

Sardia Frankland contacted the Whitby Gazette after visiting her gran’s grave for the first time since well-known Whitby woman Stella Hall died at the beginning of September.

She had built herself up to visiting the grave with flowers last Saturday afternoon but says she was left heartbroken after finding dead wreaths of flowers from the funeral which had taken place four weeks earlier, grass cuttings scattered across the grave and that the grave itself had sunk.

Sardia, who is from Whitby but lives in Market Weighton while she studies a nursing degree at the University of Hull, voiced her concerns to the Gazette and social networking site Facebook.

Since then over a hundred comments have been posted about the state of the cemetery and other families have come forward.

Sardia (25) said: “I have nearly caused World War 3 but it is a massive family and we have had all this upset when really it shouldn’t happen.

“This is the first time I have come up since she died and it was a bit of a build up for me because I was really close to my gran.

“The wreaths were totally decomposed, it felt like my heart had been ripped out, like no-one had cared. It was a massive sign of total death, I know it sounds dramatic but it was really bad and that upset me more than anything.”

She rang her dad, William Hall, in floods of tears and the 62-year-old fisherman who is awaiting a hip replacement operation, went to the cemetery at 6am on Sunday morning and cleaned the grave up himself.

He said: “We are just asking for a bit of respect from the council.”

After visiting her father in law, Malcolm Frankland’s grave, which was a mess too she called Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) to complain about the situation.

As she lives away from Whitby she discussed the situation with friends via Facebook which prompted a flurry of comments from other people who have relatives in the cemetery.

She added: “The more and more people that saw it, the more people got upset by it. Everybody is so upset by it. Like my dad says, everybody he speaks to on the fish quay on a morning has something to say about it. It’s as if the council don’t want to listen to local people but I bet Scarborough Cemetery doesn’t look like this.”

Trees are sprouting up in between two back to back headstones - one of which belongs to the grandparent’s of Tracey Belchamber.

Tracey of Auckland Way said: “That root could lift the graves up. The council is paid to look after it but now we are. The locals would rather have the cemetery looking pristine than Pannett Park which is for visitors more than locals really. The roundabouts are beautiful and full of flowers but this is disgusting.”

Kate Eglon, of Gray Street, says the problem has been getting worse over recent years and on Saturday afternoon visited the grave of her grandad, Richard Eglon.

She added: “It is like this all the time and getting worse. The grass is growing more now but when they cut it they just leave it