Upset and anger as cherished items ‘removed from graves’ at Walsall crematorium

Cherished ornaments, pictures, toys and even a pot containing ashes have been removed from graves and thrown away in a Walsall crematorium.

Items removed from graves were dumped on the floor
Items removed from graves were dumped on the floor

Heartbroken parents of children whose mementoes of their short lives were removed are outraged that they were not given the chance to save the keepsakes at Streetly Crematorium.

Many relatives only discovered their property was being taken from the graves when a shocked visitor to the crematorium warned people on Facebook.

One relative jumped over the fence after the gates had closed at 5pm and was shocked to find the pot with his mother's ashes discarded on the path near the pile of rubbish.

The son-in-law of the grandmother whose ashes were almost lost forever said the silver pot had been glued onto a memorial slab not "interfering with maintenance" which was the reason given why objects were removed.

He told the Express & Star: "The whole family is really is upset about this. My brother-in-law jumped the gate as it was closed and found them in the pile. Her ashes would have been lost forever if he had not gone down and checked.

The ashes of one woman were in the pot on the floor

"It is a disgrace. The pot with her ashes in had been there for well over a year and glued to a proper memorial slab."

He added: "We got there just in time but a lot of families are going to have a really upsetting Easter weekend when they get to the crematorium and find pictures of their babies or toys that belonged to them have been dumped in the bin.

"There were so many ways this could have been done but Walsall Council have picked the most unkind and inhumane way possible, dumping ashes and cherished items in the bin hours before Bank Holiday Weekend."

A sign explaining what was going to be removed

Linda Conlon saw the pile of items removed from graves and warned people on Facebook they might be on the verge of losing sentimental items forever.

She said: "Streetly Crematorium have removed some plaques ornaments etc from some of the graves. They have been left by the bin and will be disposed of if not collected .

"Not sure when this will be, thought I’d give people the chance to get them before they are put in the bin. Apparently they are in the way of maintenance, even though most are usually in the pots or on the plaques."

Pictured within the pile dumped near the bin were teddy bears, a scan of a baby, handwritten notes and heart shaped stones with "Dear mum" and "To my nan".

Local relatives with graves rushed to the Little Hardwick Road crematorium to check they were intact but those living elsewhere in the country will have to wait until they can visit.

Kate Massey-Shore said: "We aren't local and really worried [about] an ornament on our mom and dads grave. I'll go absolutely nuts if it's gone. Have already called the bereavement service and sent these photos, they had no idea it was being done so wonder who's bright idea that was.

"I'm not local and currently away on holiday, so very upset to see all those sentimental items just dumped next to a bin."

Janey Webster believes she spotted an item of hers in the pile unceremoniously dumped near the bin.

She said: "This is so disrespectful. There’s extremely sentimental things in there. Looks like our glass candle and stone poem is in that pile."

Pamela Beesley-Hobday added: "There is a picture of a baby scan It's disgusting."

Sarah Palfreyman added: "They could at least had a little respect in the way they placed them, looks like things have just been thrown there!"

A Walsall Council sign warns people what can and cannot be placed on graves and cremation memorials, and shows exact measurements of the height and width of what families can leave in the crematorium.

However, families complain they should have been warned when they were going to be removed.

Walsall Council has been contacted for a comment.

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