Southampton family's anniversary fury as dirt is dumped on grave

Daily Echo: ANGER: Sisters Christine Honour, Carol Penman and Lesley Garnham in front of the mound of earth on the grave of John Garnham. ANGER: Sisters Christine Honour, Carol Penman and Lesley Garnham in front of the mound of earth on the grave of John Garnham.

IT has been a family tradition for nearly three decades.

Christine Honour, Carol Penman and Lesley Garnham have been visiting their brother’s grave on the anniversary of his death for 28 years.

But when they arrived at the cemetery in Southampton yesterday to pay their respects, they were horrified to find his grave buried under a mountain of earth and his flowers thrown to the side. Tyre marks were fresh in the mud and other graves leading to John Garnham’s had been smashed.

The women say they burst into tears when they saw the trail of destruction caused by workers who had dug a new grave next to their brother’s at Millbrook Cemetery.

Christine, 46, a nursery teacher from Upper Brownhill Road, Maybush, said: “I didn’t believe it and I still don’t believe it.

“It’s so disrespectful it’s unbelievable. It looked like a skip had just landed on top of it.”

Christine visited the cemetery with her 19-year-old daughter, Lauren, sisters Carol, 62, an administrator from Cowley Close, Maybush and Lesley Garnham, 49, a pre-school key worker from Lower Brownhill Road, Maybush and family friend Pat Lewis, 74, from Millbrook.

John, a former Pirelli laboratory technician from Millbrook, was just 29 years old when he died in a car crash at Eastleigh on February 3, 1986.

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His father, Bill, an electrician, was laid to rest in the same grave in 1991 when he died aged 66 of lung cancer and a brain tumour.

Last year the ashes of John’s mum Doreen and brother Colin were also placed in the same spot after Doreen, a retired book binder, died in October aged 88 and Colin, a car valeter, died of a heart attack in December at 54.

The shock of finding the grave in such a mess was made worse because the sisters heard the results of Colin’s inquest just hours before.

Christine said: “There are ways to do things and this is the wrong way. This is vandalism. “We’ve been through a hell of a lot and then to come down to see this it’s been really hard. We just burst into tears. It’s so raw inside still that we didn’t know what to do.

“You’ve only got to look at the headstone and see it’s the anniversary of his death. It’s not as if it’s not written on there.

“Being your brother, visiting the grave is religious and this is the first year we’ve had to go without our mum and Colin.

“We don’t know what’s going on. We don’t know if this is going to be a burial here tomorrow and that the flowers might get thrown somewhere else.”

Millbrook Cemetery, formerly known as Millbrook Parish Council Burial Ground, behind Holy Trinity Church on Millbrook Road West was taken over by Southampton City Council in 1954.”

Last night it was unclear who had dug the new grave.

Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts said: “If council staff are responsible for this then I apologise and I will do my best to make sure everything is returned as it should be as soon as possible.”

Comments (55)

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11:09am Tue 4 Feb 14

pmw321 says...

Absolutely disgusting that this has happened! This family have been through enough in recent months with the death of their mother and brother and there is no excuse for what has happened. My thoughts are with the family x
Absolutely disgusting that this has happened! This family have been through enough in recent months with the death of their mother and brother and there is no excuse for what has happened. My thoughts are with the family x pmw321

11:49am Tue 4 Feb 14

Nikki1966 says...

I cannot believe that this has happened. This poor family had a rotton 2013 and were hoping for a good 2014 - not got off to a good start has it!! Did the people who dug up the soil have no element of respect to the dead and their families. I hope it is all sorted out very very quickly and that this family can get on and try and get their lives back on track.
I cannot believe that this has happened. This poor family had a rotton 2013 and were hoping for a good 2014 - not got off to a good start has it!! Did the people who dug up the soil have no element of respect to the dead and their families. I hope it is all sorted out very very quickly and that this family can get on and try and get their lives back on track. Nikki1966

12:47pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Doctor Watson says...

Absolutely reprehensible behaviour. Would these same workers have dumped a huge mound of earth on their own loved ones grave? I think not. Do they not pre-check the headstones, to minimise the chance of any upset? Clearly not! John, my friend - was a lovely man, who was cut down in the prime of his life. His family, have just endured a most torrid end to 2013 and for this to happen so soon afterwards, must be heartbreaking for them. A personal visit and apology from the 'powers that be', is the least they should receive.
Absolutely reprehensible behaviour. Would these same workers have dumped a huge mound of earth on their own loved ones grave? I think not. Do they not pre-check the headstones, to minimise the chance of any upset? Clearly not! John, my friend - was a lovely man, who was cut down in the prime of his life. His family, have just endured a most torrid end to 2013 and for this to happen so soon afterwards, must be heartbreaking for them. A personal visit and apology from the 'powers that be', is the least they should receive. Doctor Watson

12:48pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Smartiepants says...

That's the Council all over, a bunch of backward idiots. They have no idea, no respect, no interest in this city at all. I hope they all get kicked out at the next election.
That's the Council all over, a bunch of backward idiots. They have no idea, no respect, no interest in this city at all. I hope they all get kicked out at the next election. Smartiepants

2:48pm Tue 4 Feb 14

in search of the truth says...

So disrespectful.
So disrespectful. in search of the truth

3:48pm Tue 4 Feb 14

ShakeyWiffles says...

Unfortunately I'm not at all surprised. The council do not give a flying **** about the residents of this city past or present unless they're students. It's only a matter of time before this becomes a 100% University city and all residents are forced out.
I'm so sorry this happened and only hope it wakes the council up to how stupid they've been with their arrangements. Especially the sacking of Jim Emery
Unfortunately I'm not at all surprised. The council do not give a flying **** about the residents of this city past or present unless they're students. It's only a matter of time before this becomes a 100% University city and all residents are forced out. I'm so sorry this happened and only hope it wakes the council up to how stupid they've been with their arrangements. Especially the sacking of Jim Emery ShakeyWiffles

3:49pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Olly2012 says...

This was almost definitely the council as I couldn't get into the car park between 1.30-2.30ish yesterday, this being the fact they had a trailer with the digger on! Like the report states a lot were damaged.
Utter disgrace!
This was almost definitely the council as I couldn't get into the car park between 1.30-2.30ish yesterday, this being the fact they had a trailer with the digger on! Like the report states a lot were damaged. Utter disgrace! Olly2012

3:55pm Tue 4 Feb 14

HillsidePaul says...

Smartiepants wrote:
That's the Council all over, a bunch of backward idiots. They have no idea, no respect, no interest in this city at all. I hope they all get kicked out at the next election.
Idiot. Whoever did this is well out of order but its not a political issue. the Cllrs didn't dump the soil themselves did they!
[quote][p][bold]Smartiepants[/bold] wrote: That's the Council all over, a bunch of backward idiots. They have no idea, no respect, no interest in this city at all. I hope they all get kicked out at the next election.[/p][/quote]Idiot. Whoever did this is well out of order but its not a political issue. the Cllrs didn't dump the soil themselves did they! HillsidePaul

4:54pm Tue 4 Feb 14

RBLA says...

Absolutely appalling Lesley that this could happen you must be devastated. I remember you from school and hadn't realised your brother died not long after we left ..... thoughts are with you and hope they sort out this mess as soon as possible xx LA
Absolutely appalling Lesley that this could happen you must be devastated. I remember you from school and hadn't realised your brother died not long after we left ..... thoughts are with you and hope they sort out this mess as soon as possible xx LA RBLA

4:57pm Tue 4 Feb 14

lordflood says...

We had concerns about the actions of this council ,when they were cutting down trees at the crematorium , only to drag the trees they had cut down over areas of loved ones remains. And left people visiting the crematorium upset at the state of the area at the time. We contacted the echo, councillors etc and never got anywhere . So we know how you feel, but they do not care about the feelings of family's who have lost loved ones. We found it was only used by the echo to fill the paper. And as for the councillors of Bassett and Coxford may as well not bothered. Disgust springs to mind.
We had concerns about the actions of this council ,when they were cutting down trees at the crematorium , only to drag the trees they had cut down over areas of loved ones remains. And left people visiting the crematorium upset at the state of the area at the time. We contacted the echo, councillors etc and never got anywhere . So we know how you feel, but they do not care about the feelings of family's who have lost loved ones. We found it was only used by the echo to fill the paper. And as for the councillors of Bassett and Coxford may as well not bothered. Disgust springs to mind. lordflood

5:04pm Tue 4 Feb 14

sotonman2012 says...

Heard about this on the radio at work today, disgusting also would like to say if the council refuse to clean it up or it's not done soon enough, I'm personally willing to help move all the dirt free of charge
Heard about this on the radio at work today, disgusting also would like to say if the council refuse to clean it up or it's not done soon enough, I'm personally willing to help move all the dirt free of charge sotonman2012

5:19pm Tue 4 Feb 14

sparkster says...

Utterly disgusting i have had experience of this when mum and I went to the cemetery in Devon, there was soil and weeds dumped on one of the relatives graves, I wrote to the Council expressing ou displeasure, thankfully the woman we wrote to was very understanding and said she ould get in contact with the contractors, she did and it was dealt with. This should NOT happen, just because someone has passed away they deserve just as much respect as the living, utterly disgraceful . There should be an area for soil to be placed until it's ready to be returned, too much effort I suppose, to to shift the earth and four standing watching
Utterly disgusting i have had experience of this when mum and I went to the cemetery in Devon, there was soil and weeds dumped on one of the relatives graves, I wrote to the Council expressing ou displeasure, thankfully the woman we wrote to was very understanding and said she ould get in contact with the contractors, she did and it was dealt with. This should NOT happen, just because someone has passed away they deserve just as much respect as the living, utterly disgraceful . There should be an area for soil to be placed until it's ready to be returned, too much effort I suppose, to to shift the earth and four standing watching sparkster

5:53pm Tue 4 Feb 14

lisa whitemore says...

HillsidePaul wrote:
Smartiepants wrote:
That's the Council all over, a bunch of backward idiots. They have no idea, no respect, no interest in this city at all. I hope they all get kicked out at the next election.
Idiot. Whoever did this is well out of order but its not a political issue. the Cllrs didn't dump the soil themselves did they!
No but if they hadnt deleted my Dads job this problem along with so many other problems & distress would never have happened! So much for upholding the excellent service that was kept in 42yrs My Dad was in charge! Once again Labour refused to even compromise on this situation and the events since my dad left has been proof his job was never redundant,otherwise they wouldnt of had to replace his position, but under different job title! They really have ended up with egg on there face over this matter and the public will not forget this either! Quick to wanna get hands on the house thinking they could sell as a plot of land....Before researching and finding out after they couldnt earn a quick £250,000 as planned. As for the upset & distress caused accross the five cemeteries is just disgraceful, Labour Have no respect and just DO NOT CARE!!
[quote][p][bold]HillsidePaul[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Smartiepants[/bold] wrote: That's the Council all over, a bunch of backward idiots. They have no idea, no respect, no interest in this city at all. I hope they all get kicked out at the next election.[/p][/quote]Idiot. Whoever did this is well out of order but its not a political issue. the Cllrs didn't dump the soil themselves did they![/p][/quote]No but if they hadnt deleted my Dads job this problem along with so many other problems & distress would never have happened! So much for upholding the excellent service that was kept in 42yrs My Dad was in charge! Once again Labour refused to even compromise on this situation and the events since my dad left has been proof his job was never redundant,otherwise they wouldnt of had to replace his position, but under different job title! They really have ended up with egg on there face over this matter and the public will not forget this either! Quick to wanna get hands on the house thinking they could sell as a plot of land....Before researching and finding out after they couldnt earn a quick £250,000 as planned. As for the upset & distress caused accross the five cemeteries is just disgraceful, Labour Have no respect and just DO NOT CARE!! lisa whitemore

6:01pm Tue 4 Feb 14

lisa whitemore says...

As for Council Leader Letts stating he didnt know who had dug the grave....what a load of bullsh*t!! Who else is likely to do it then?? Of course it was his council workers who did it unless we have ghost diggers. Absolutely disgraceful how this council has constantly shown only disrespect towards our loved ones that have passed away. Will They Care About this??? NO! Shameless the lot of them. This does all come down to politics no matter how you councillors try to deny it!
As for Council Leader Letts stating he didnt know who had dug the grave....what a load of bullsh*t!! Who else is likely to do it then?? Of course it was his council workers who did it unless we have ghost diggers. Absolutely disgraceful how this council has constantly shown only disrespect towards our loved ones that have passed away. Will They Care About this??? NO! Shameless the lot of them. This does all come down to politics no matter how you councillors try to deny it! lisa whitemore

6:02pm Tue 4 Feb 14

ShakeyWiffles says...

I take it my minus score is from people that work for the council and have relatives with the power of eternal life?
I take it my minus score is from people that work for the council and have relatives with the power of eternal life? ShakeyWiffles

6:33pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Rainyday says...

Of course it was dug by the Council staff - Millbrook Cemetery is a council run Cemetery so who else would have dug the grave Councillor Letts. Where was the Cemetery Manager who should have checked where the dirt was going to be put before the grave was dug, especially if the graves nearby are cared for and looked after which this one obviously was!
Of course it was dug by the Council staff - Millbrook Cemetery is a council run Cemetery so who else would have dug the grave Councillor Letts. Where was the Cemetery Manager who should have checked where the dirt was going to be put before the grave was dug, especially if the graves nearby are cared for and looked after which this one obviously was! Rainyday

6:45pm Tue 4 Feb 14

SOULJACKER says...

Like I have always said, this council is completely 'Not fit for purpose'!
They don't care about the people of the city, in fact it seems as though they just look down on us Plebs.
When will the people of this great city wake up & say enough is enough?
This council does sweet FA for us, there is nothing for the people to do unless they want to pay through the nose to park or get in some where.
Now their contepmt has just annoyed the hell out of me now because of their disrespect to these poor people at what is always a horrid time.
Like I have always said, this council is completely 'Not fit for purpose'! They don't care about the people of the city, in fact it seems as though they just look down on us Plebs. When will the people of this great city wake up & say enough is enough? This council does sweet FA for us, there is nothing for the people to do unless they want to pay through the nose to park or get in some where. Now their contepmt has just annoyed the hell out of me now because of their disrespect to these poor people at what is always a horrid time. SOULJACKER

6:55pm Tue 4 Feb 14

ShakeyWiffles says...

HillsidePaul wrote:
Smartiepants wrote:
That's the Council all over, a bunch of backward idiots. They have no idea, no respect, no interest in this city at all. I hope they all get kicked out at the next election.
Idiot. Whoever did this is well out of order but its not a political issue. the Cllrs didn't dump the soil themselves did they!
But who hires the people to do it exactly? Umm The Council
[quote][p][bold]HillsidePaul[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Smartiepants[/bold] wrote: That's the Council all over, a bunch of backward idiots. They have no idea, no respect, no interest in this city at all. I hope they all get kicked out at the next election.[/p][/quote]Idiot. Whoever did this is well out of order but its not a political issue. the Cllrs didn't dump the soil themselves did they![/p][/quote]But who hires the people to do it exactly? Umm The Council ShakeyWiffles

6:59pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Doctor Watson says...

sotonman2012 wrote:
Heard about this on the radio at work today, disgusting also would like to say if the council refuse to clean it up or it's not done soon enough, I'm personally willing to help move all the dirt free of charge
Good man. Count me in too.
[quote][p][bold]sotonman2012[/bold] wrote: Heard about this on the radio at work today, disgusting also would like to say if the council refuse to clean it up or it's not done soon enough, I'm personally willing to help move all the dirt free of charge[/p][/quote]Good man. Count me in too. Doctor Watson

7:10pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Inform Al says...

ShakeyWiffles wrote:
HillsidePaul wrote:
Smartiepants wrote:
That's the Council all over, a bunch of backward idiots. They have no idea, no respect, no interest in this city at all. I hope they all get kicked out at the next election.
Idiot. Whoever did this is well out of order but its not a political issue. the Cllrs didn't dump the soil themselves did they!
But who hires the people to do it exactly? Umm The Council
Council employees opr contractors. Now the councillors are aware I sauspect something will be done about it. This would happen whichever of the parties were in power.
[quote][p][bold]ShakeyWiffles[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]HillsidePaul[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Smartiepants[/bold] wrote: That's the Council all over, a bunch of backward idiots. They have no idea, no respect, no interest in this city at all. I hope they all get kicked out at the next election.[/p][/quote]Idiot. Whoever did this is well out of order but its not a political issue. the Cllrs didn't dump the soil themselves did they![/p][/quote]But who hires the people to do it exactly? Umm The Council[/p][/quote]Council employees opr contractors. Now the councillors are aware I sauspect something will be done about it. This would happen whichever of the parties were in power. Inform Al

7:30pm Tue 4 Feb 14

jo1411 says...

Sotonman2012 that is very kind of you. Thank you so much.
I don't know if my family have seen these comments, but I'm sure they will be very touched by your kind offer.
Sotonman2012 that is very kind of you. Thank you so much. I don't know if my family have seen these comments, but I'm sure they will be very touched by your kind offer. jo1411

7:32pm Tue 4 Feb 14

jo1411 says...

Sotonman2012 thank you so much for such a thoughtful offer. Not sure if my family have seen these messages yet, but I will pass them on. Very touching, Thank you
Sotonman2012 thank you so much for such a thoughtful offer. Not sure if my family have seen these messages yet, but I will pass them on. Very touching, Thank you jo1411

7:35pm Tue 4 Feb 14

eurogordi says...

Southampton City Council must know who dug the new grave because it owns the cemetery. Funeral Directors have to request the digging of graves and that would have been through the City Council. If the council then gave the job to contractors so be it, BUT that does not excuse the council who should know who there contractors are.

I know soil sometimes has to be put on neighbouring graves, but in my experience this is done with as much sympathy as possible and is usually cover in artificial green grass. Any flowers on the neighbouring grave are carefully placed to one side, before being put back after the new grave has been filled.

Heavy vehicles, skips full of soil and damaged graves/gravestones do not add up. I fail to see how the City Council can crawl out of this one, because as I said at the start, this is entirely the responsibility of the council. The council should now do the right thing by making a public apology and making sure all damage is repaired immediately.
Southampton City Council must know who dug the new grave because it owns the cemetery. Funeral Directors have to request the digging of graves and that would have been through the City Council. If the council then gave the job to contractors so be it, BUT that does not excuse the council who should know who there contractors are. I know soil sometimes has to be put on neighbouring graves, but in my experience this is done with as much sympathy as possible and is usually cover in artificial green grass. Any flowers on the neighbouring grave are carefully placed to one side, before being put back after the new grave has been filled. Heavy vehicles, skips full of soil and damaged graves/gravestones do not add up. I fail to see how the City Council can crawl out of this one, because as I said at the start, this is entirely the responsibility of the council. The council should now do the right thing by making a public apology and making sure all damage is repaired immediately. eurogordi

7:49pm Tue 4 Feb 14

william.m says...

ok, here goes.... I am prepared to be shot down in flames, before I say anything I do feel for the relatives of Mr Garnham, but, I must say has anyone ever considered the implications of digging (or re-digging) a grave?

Normally machines (excavators) can not be used in areas where there are existing graves for fear of damaging them. So they are quite literally dug by hand using a shovel - tonne after tonne of heavy wet earth, through stones, roots, taking care not to disturb the existing family member's remains. the earth has to be slung vertically out of the grave - easy to begin with, but harder when you get to 6 foot deep. And where do you put the soil, which incidently is probably twice the volume of the hole - it has to go on one side of the grave being dug. Of course care is taken to cover graves either side with tarps, and no doubt after the burial the are would have been cleared up. This story is sensationalist and designed to stoke anti- council sentiment. Lazy reporting too, as there has been no attempt to investigate the circumstances fully.

Before anyone suggests, I do NOT work for the council, but I did spend one summer doing gardening work in Hollybrook Cemetery and I KNOW how hard the diggers worked, and the care they take.... Maybe there was an oversight in this case, and maybe machines were used where they should not have been, but I for one want to put the case for people who have done a hard days labour in their life. Often in conditions less than perfect.
ok, here goes.... I am prepared to be shot down in flames, before I say anything I do feel for the relatives of Mr Garnham, but, I must say has anyone ever considered the implications of digging (or re-digging) a grave? Normally machines (excavators) can not be used in areas where there are existing graves for fear of damaging them. So they are quite literally dug by hand using a shovel - tonne after tonne of heavy wet earth, through stones, roots, taking care not to disturb the existing family member's remains. the earth has to be slung vertically out of the grave - easy to begin with, but harder when you get to 6 foot deep. And where do you put the soil, which incidently is probably twice the volume of the hole - it has to go on one side of the grave being dug. Of course care is taken to cover graves either side with tarps, and no doubt after the burial the are would have been cleared up. This story is sensationalist and designed to stoke anti- council sentiment. Lazy reporting too, as there has been no attempt to investigate the circumstances fully. Before anyone suggests, I do NOT work for the council, but I did spend one summer doing gardening work in Hollybrook Cemetery and I KNOW how hard the diggers worked, and the care they take.... Maybe there was an oversight in this case, and maybe machines were used where they should not have been, but I for one want to put the case for people who have done a hard days labour in their life. Often in conditions less than perfect. william.m

8:20pm Tue 4 Feb 14

lisa whitemore says...

Doctor Watson wrote:
sotonman2012 wrote:
Heard about this on the radio at work today, disgusting also would like to say if the council refuse to clean it up or it's not done soon enough, I'm personally willing to help move all the dirt free of charge
Good man. Count me in too.
really touching that both of you would be prepared to do this but you would not be allowed under some crazy health & safety rules apparantly, when a group of upset relatives declared they would have group volunteers to clean cemeteries up as we were informed the council never had resources to get the five cemeteries cleaned up,were told we were not allowed unless knowing about health & safety with regards to cemetery!!!!
https://www.facebook
.com/groups/46889526
6527841/
[quote][p][bold]Doctor Watson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sotonman2012[/bold] wrote: Heard about this on the radio at work today, disgusting also would like to say if the council refuse to clean it up or it's not done soon enough, I'm personally willing to help move all the dirt free of charge[/p][/quote]Good man. Count me in too.[/p][/quote]really touching that both of you would be prepared to do this but you would not be allowed under some crazy health & safety rules apparantly, when a group of upset relatives declared they would have group volunteers to clean cemeteries up as we were informed the council never had resources to get the five cemeteries cleaned up,were told we were not allowed unless knowing about health & safety with regards to cemetery!!!! https://www.facebook .com/groups/46889526 6527841/ lisa whitemore

8:26pm Tue 4 Feb 14

lisa whitemore says...

william.m wrote:
ok, here goes.... I am prepared to be shot down in flames, before I say anything I do feel for the relatives of Mr Garnham, but, I must say has anyone ever considered the implications of digging (or re-digging) a grave?

Normally machines (excavators) can not be used in areas where there are existing graves for fear of damaging them. So they are quite literally dug by hand using a shovel - tonne after tonne of heavy wet earth, through stones, roots, taking care not to disturb the existing family member's remains. the earth has to be slung vertically out of the grave - easy to begin with, but harder when you get to 6 foot deep. And where do you put the soil, which incidently is probably twice the volume of the hole - it has to go on one side of the grave being dug. Of course care is taken to cover graves either side with tarps, and no doubt after the burial the are would have been cleared up. This story is sensationalist and designed to stoke anti- council sentiment. Lazy reporting too, as there has been no attempt to investigate the circumstances fully.

Before anyone suggests, I do NOT work for the council, but I did spend one summer doing gardening work in Hollybrook Cemetery and I KNOW how hard the diggers worked, and the care they take.... Maybe there was an oversight in this case, and maybe machines were used where they should not have been, but I for one want to put the case for people who have done a hard days labour in their life. Often in conditions less than perfect.
Fair comment and totally see where your coming from but the errors and disrespect of all five cemeteries is disgraceful. Jim my Dad hand dug graves for many years along with my uncles. The lack of respect is unnacceptable and stand by my point this would never have happened and was unheard of before they made the cemetery superintendants job redundant. The jobs always been needed!
[quote][p][bold]william.m[/bold] wrote: ok, here goes.... I am prepared to be shot down in flames, before I say anything I do feel for the relatives of Mr Garnham, but, I must say has anyone ever considered the implications of digging (or re-digging) a grave? Normally machines (excavators) can not be used in areas where there are existing graves for fear of damaging them. So they are quite literally dug by hand using a shovel - tonne after tonne of heavy wet earth, through stones, roots, taking care not to disturb the existing family member's remains. the earth has to be slung vertically out of the grave - easy to begin with, but harder when you get to 6 foot deep. And where do you put the soil, which incidently is probably twice the volume of the hole - it has to go on one side of the grave being dug. Of course care is taken to cover graves either side with tarps, and no doubt after the burial the are would have been cleared up. This story is sensationalist and designed to stoke anti- council sentiment. Lazy reporting too, as there has been no attempt to investigate the circumstances fully. Before anyone suggests, I do NOT work for the council, but I did spend one summer doing gardening work in Hollybrook Cemetery and I KNOW how hard the diggers worked, and the care they take.... Maybe there was an oversight in this case, and maybe machines were used where they should not have been, but I for one want to put the case for people who have done a hard days labour in their life. Often in conditions less than perfect.[/p][/quote]Fair comment and totally see where your coming from but the errors and disrespect of all five cemeteries is disgraceful. Jim my Dad hand dug graves for many years along with my uncles. The lack of respect is unnacceptable and stand by my point this would never have happened and was unheard of before they made the cemetery superintendants job redundant. The jobs always been needed! lisa whitemore

8:34pm Tue 4 Feb 14

sparkster says...

I agree totally disrespectful and unnecessary, I dont feel this story is sensationalist it happens, I live in Netley Abbey and a man was telling me of a huge mound of earth being dumped on his wife's grave and he is taking it further and good on him,r egadless of how hard they work this should not be allowed to happen, they should have their work checked
I agree totally disrespectful and unnecessary, I dont feel this story is sensationalist it happens, I live in Netley Abbey and a man was telling me of a huge mound of earth being dumped on his wife's grave and he is taking it further and good on him,r egadless of how hard they work this should not be allowed to happen, they should have their work checked sparkster

8:45pm Tue 4 Feb 14

william.m says...

lisa whitemore wrote:
william.m wrote:
ok, here goes.... I am prepared to be shot down in flames, before I say anything I do feel for the relatives of Mr Garnham, but, I must say has anyone ever considered the implications of digging (or re-digging) a grave?

Normally machines (excavators) can not be used in areas where there are existing graves for fear of damaging them. So they are quite literally dug by hand using a shovel - tonne after tonne of heavy wet earth, through stones, roots, taking care not to disturb the existing family member's remains. the earth has to be slung vertically out of the grave - easy to begin with, but harder when you get to 6 foot deep. And where do you put the soil, which incidently is probably twice the volume of the hole - it has to go on one side of the grave being dug. Of course care is taken to cover graves either side with tarps, and no doubt after the burial the are would have been cleared up. This story is sensationalist and designed to stoke anti- council sentiment. Lazy reporting too, as there has been no attempt to investigate the circumstances fully.

Before anyone suggests, I do NOT work for the council, but I did spend one summer doing gardening work in Hollybrook Cemetery and I KNOW how hard the diggers worked, and the care they take.... Maybe there was an oversight in this case, and maybe machines were used where they should not have been, but I for one want to put the case for people who have done a hard days labour in their life. Often in conditions less than perfect.
Fair comment and totally see where your coming from but the errors and disrespect of all five cemeteries is disgraceful. Jim my Dad hand dug graves for many years along with my uncles. The lack of respect is unnacceptable and stand by my point this would never have happened and was unheard of before they made the cemetery superintendants job redundant. The jobs always been needed!
That's fair point about the superintendant, but judging by the picture on the home page it seems great care has been taken to keep all the soil boxed in. Its not what I would call - and I quote from the echo homepage 'vandalism'.

When the remains of John's mother and brother were buried in the same grave where would the soil have to be put? - that's right - right on top of an adjoining grave. It's the only way - unless we increase council taxes to fund the purchase of cranes for the cemetary workers.

I think describing this as 'vandalism' is excessive. Maybe unfortunate timing. Perhaps the reporter Rebecca Pearson should spend a day digging graves, then she would realise you cant teleport 3 tonnes of earth into a more convenient location.
[quote][p][bold]lisa whitemore[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]william.m[/bold] wrote: ok, here goes.... I am prepared to be shot down in flames, before I say anything I do feel for the relatives of Mr Garnham, but, I must say has anyone ever considered the implications of digging (or re-digging) a grave? Normally machines (excavators) can not be used in areas where there are existing graves for fear of damaging them. So they are quite literally dug by hand using a shovel - tonne after tonne of heavy wet earth, through stones, roots, taking care not to disturb the existing family member's remains. the earth has to be slung vertically out of the grave - easy to begin with, but harder when you get to 6 foot deep. And where do you put the soil, which incidently is probably twice the volume of the hole - it has to go on one side of the grave being dug. Of course care is taken to cover graves either side with tarps, and no doubt after the burial the are would have been cleared up. This story is sensationalist and designed to stoke anti- council sentiment. Lazy reporting too, as there has been no attempt to investigate the circumstances fully. Before anyone suggests, I do NOT work for the council, but I did spend one summer doing gardening work in Hollybrook Cemetery and I KNOW how hard the diggers worked, and the care they take.... Maybe there was an oversight in this case, and maybe machines were used where they should not have been, but I for one want to put the case for people who have done a hard days labour in their life. Often in conditions less than perfect.[/p][/quote]Fair comment and totally see where your coming from but the errors and disrespect of all five cemeteries is disgraceful. Jim my Dad hand dug graves for many years along with my uncles. The lack of respect is unnacceptable and stand by my point this would never have happened and was unheard of before they made the cemetery superintendants job redundant. The jobs always been needed![/p][/quote]That's fair point about the superintendant, but judging by the picture on the home page it seems great care has been taken to keep all the soil boxed in. Its not what I would call - and I quote from the echo homepage 'vandalism'. When the remains of John's mother and brother were buried in the same grave where would the soil have to be put? - that's right - right on top of an adjoining grave. It's the only way - unless we increase council taxes to fund the purchase of cranes for the cemetary workers. I think describing this as 'vandalism' is excessive. Maybe unfortunate timing. Perhaps the reporter Rebecca Pearson should spend a day digging graves, then she would realise you cant teleport 3 tonnes of earth into a more convenient location. william.m

9:12pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Ronnie G says...

HillsidePaul wrote:
Smartiepants wrote:
That's the Council all over, a bunch of backward idiots. They have no idea, no respect, no interest in this city at all. I hope they all get kicked out at the next election.
Idiot. Whoever did this is well out of order but its not a political issue. the Cllrs didn't dump the soil themselves did they!
Of Course it's political, letts,his labour councillors & senior officers, blindly got rid of a non union supporting worker so they could give his wages to a union member worker, then to top it off they give the union member worker a pay rise too!!
Hard times?
Not if your a union member at a SCC!
[quote][p][bold]HillsidePaul[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Smartiepants[/bold] wrote: That's the Council all over, a bunch of backward idiots. They have no idea, no respect, no interest in this city at all. I hope they all get kicked out at the next election.[/p][/quote]Idiot. Whoever did this is well out of order but its not a political issue. the Cllrs didn't dump the soil themselves did they![/p][/quote]Of Course it's political, letts,his labour councillors & senior officers, blindly got rid of a non union supporting worker so they could give his wages to a union member worker, then to top it off they give the union member worker a pay rise too!! Hard times? Not if your a union member at a SCC! Ronnie G

9:24pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Ronnie G says...

Rainyday wrote:
Of course it was dug by the Council staff - Millbrook Cemetery is a council run Cemetery so who else would have dug the grave Councillor Letts. Where was the Cemetery Manager who should have checked where the dirt was going to be put before the grave was dug, especially if the graves nearby are cared for and looked after which this one obviously was!
They made the cemetery superintendent redundant, said his job was deleted, reckoned his job was no longer needed as it didn't exist any longer???
Had to make savings in Environment & Transport apparently.
[quote][p][bold]Rainyday[/bold] wrote: Of course it was dug by the Council staff - Millbrook Cemetery is a council run Cemetery so who else would have dug the grave Councillor Letts. Where was the Cemetery Manager who should have checked where the dirt was going to be put before the grave was dug, especially if the graves nearby are cared for and looked after which this one obviously was![/p][/quote]They made the cemetery superintendent redundant, said his job was deleted, reckoned his job was no longer needed as it didn't exist any longer??? Had to make savings in Environment & Transport apparently. Ronnie G

11:01pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Ronnie G says...

I think no-one went out to confirm or mark the grave.
If they had then the dates on the headstone would of been spotted before the grave was dug. It seems since late 2012 there is no knowledge, let alone an ounce of experience in this area of services any longer, the cemeteries services have clearly suffered and the cemeteries are in a state of neglect,
It is unacceptable the family have had to experience this and on the anniversary date too. Shameful.
I think no-one went out to confirm or mark the grave. If they had then the dates on the headstone would of been spotted before the grave was dug. It seems since late 2012 there is no knowledge, let alone an ounce of experience in this area of services any longer, the cemeteries services have clearly suffered and the cemeteries are in a state of neglect, It is unacceptable the family have had to experience this and on the anniversary date too. Shameful. Ronnie G

1:01pm Wed 5 Feb 14

sparkster says...

grief IS NOT selfish, grow up. What a totally insensitive comment to make, these people have not put their life on hold at all. I'd be upset too if i visited a grave of a elative to find a mound of dirt dumped on it and flowes cast aside. To say grief is a selfish behaviour is totally callous. If you lost a loved one I take it you wouldn't grieve. 0ne day you might know what grief is then you will understand it's a human emotion which we all have but then there are those devoid of compassion and feeling, I feel sorry fo you and those like you
grief IS NOT selfish, grow up. What a totally insensitive comment to make, these people have not put their life on hold at all. I'd be upset too if i visited a grave of a elative to find a mound of dirt dumped on it and flowes cast aside. To say grief is a selfish behaviour is totally callous. If you lost a loved one I take it you wouldn't grieve. 0ne day you might know what grief is then you will understand it's a human emotion which we all have but then there are those devoid of compassion and feeling, I feel sorry fo you and those like you sparkster

1:29pm Wed 5 Feb 14

VIVERS says...

sparkster wrote:
grief IS NOT selfish, grow up. What a totally insensitive comment to make, these people have not put their life on hold at all. I'd be upset too if i visited a grave of a elative to find a mound of dirt dumped on it and flowes cast aside. To say grief is a selfish behaviour is totally callous. If you lost a loved one I take it you wouldn't grieve. 0ne day you might know what grief is then you will understand it's a human emotion which we all have but then there are those devoid of compassion and feeling, I feel sorry fo you and those like you
I think you are the one who needs to grow up. What have they gained from this anyway yeah I may be insensitive and callous but that is reallity not self pity which is what these women are doing. if you cant handle the truth then perhaps you shouldnt read stuff you dont like. also if wollowing in your own grief is not selfish what is it then? they are just waiting for someone else to pick up the pieces woe is me . People handle loss in there own way and public boo hoos is just wollowing. memeries is what its about not crying into your handbag.
[quote][p][bold]sparkster[/bold] wrote: grief IS NOT selfish, grow up. What a totally insensitive comment to make, these people have not put their life on hold at all. I'd be upset too if i visited a grave of a elative to find a mound of dirt dumped on it and flowes cast aside. To say grief is a selfish behaviour is totally callous. If you lost a loved one I take it you wouldn't grieve. 0ne day you might know what grief is then you will understand it's a human emotion which we all have but then there are those devoid of compassion and feeling, I feel sorry fo you and those like you[/p][/quote]I think you are the one who needs to grow up. What have they gained from this anyway yeah I may be insensitive and callous but that is reallity not self pity which is what these women are doing. if you cant handle the truth then perhaps you shouldnt read stuff you dont like. also if wollowing in your own grief is not selfish what is it then? they are just waiting for someone else to pick up the pieces woe is me . People handle loss in there own way and public boo hoos is just wollowing. memeries is what its about not crying into your handbag. VIVERS

1:43pm Wed 5 Feb 14

VIVERS says...

VIVERS wrote:
sparkster wrote:
grief IS NOT selfish, grow up. What a totally insensitive comment to make, these people have not put their life on hold at all. I'd be upset too if i visited a grave of a elative to find a mound of dirt dumped on it and flowes cast aside. To say grief is a selfish behaviour is totally callous. If you lost a loved one I take it you wouldn't grieve. 0ne day you might know what grief is then you will understand it's a human emotion which we all have but then there are those devoid of compassion and feeling, I feel sorry fo you and those like you
I think you are the one who needs to grow up. What have they gained from this anyway yeah I may be insensitive and callous but that is reallity not self pity which is what these women are doing. if you cant handle the truth then perhaps you shouldnt read stuff you dont like. also if wollowing in your own grief is not selfish what is it then? they are just waiting for someone else to pick up the pieces woe is me . People handle loss in there own way and public boo hoos is just wollowing. memeries is what its about not crying into your handbag.
oh and perhaps you could suggest to the council were they could put the dirt in furture lol good luck
[quote][p][bold]VIVERS[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sparkster[/bold] wrote: grief IS NOT selfish, grow up. What a totally insensitive comment to make, these people have not put their life on hold at all. I'd be upset too if i visited a grave of a elative to find a mound of dirt dumped on it and flowes cast aside. To say grief is a selfish behaviour is totally callous. If you lost a loved one I take it you wouldn't grieve. 0ne day you might know what grief is then you will understand it's a human emotion which we all have but then there are those devoid of compassion and feeling, I feel sorry fo you and those like you[/p][/quote]I think you are the one who needs to grow up. What have they gained from this anyway yeah I may be insensitive and callous but that is reallity not self pity which is what these women are doing. if you cant handle the truth then perhaps you shouldnt read stuff you dont like. also if wollowing in your own grief is not selfish what is it then? they are just waiting for someone else to pick up the pieces woe is me . People handle loss in there own way and public boo hoos is just wollowing. memeries is what its about not crying into your handbag.[/p][/quote]oh and perhaps you could suggest to the council were they could put the dirt in furture lol good luck VIVERS

1:44pm Wed 5 Feb 14

sparkster says...

Im not going to argue here but im glad that i have compassion to feel for people, i would be upset if a relative of mine had a load of dirt dumped on their grave, again I hope you never have the misfortune to lose someone who means a lot to you. Grief is not selfish in the least, I agree with you that we all deal with grief in our own way, if its through tears then so be it, better to do that than bottle it up leading to ill health
Im not going to argue here but im glad that i have compassion to feel for people, i would be upset if a relative of mine had a load of dirt dumped on their grave, again I hope you never have the misfortune to lose someone who means a lot to you. Grief is not selfish in the least, I agree with you that we all deal with grief in our own way, if its through tears then so be it, better to do that than bottle it up leading to ill health sparkster

2:02pm Wed 5 Feb 14

VIVERS says...

sparkster wrote:
Im not going to argue here but im glad that i have compassion to feel for people, i would be upset if a relative of mine had a load of dirt dumped on their grave, again I hope you never have the misfortune to lose someone who means a lot to you. Grief is not selfish in the least, I agree with you that we all deal with grief in our own way, if its through tears then so be it, better to do that than bottle it up leading to ill health
ok picture this date of anniversary 2 days later, person has family member burried along side grave, holes filled graves returned back to there wonderful memorial again, family turns up to REMEMBER there lost ones, none the wiser weres the problem ?
[quote][p][bold]sparkster[/bold] wrote: Im not going to argue here but im glad that i have compassion to feel for people, i would be upset if a relative of mine had a load of dirt dumped on their grave, again I hope you never have the misfortune to lose someone who means a lot to you. Grief is not selfish in the least, I agree with you that we all deal with grief in our own way, if its through tears then so be it, better to do that than bottle it up leading to ill health[/p][/quote]ok picture this date of anniversary 2 days later, person has family member burried along side grave, holes filled graves returned back to there wonderful memorial again, family turns up to REMEMBER there lost ones, none the wiser weres the problem ? VIVERS

2:07pm Wed 5 Feb 14

mrbacon says...

VIVERS wooo tiger, not only are you a tad insensitive but your spelling is terrible ,are you under 12 or from a poor background?
VIVERS wooo tiger, not only are you a tad insensitive but your spelling is terrible ,are you under 12 or from a poor background? mrbacon

2:31pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Doctor Watson says...

VIVERS wrote:
sparkster wrote:
Im not going to argue here but im glad that i have compassion to feel for people, i would be upset if a relative of mine had a load of dirt dumped on their grave, again I hope you never have the misfortune to lose someone who means a lot to you. Grief is not selfish in the least, I agree with you that we all deal with grief in our own way, if its through tears then so be it, better to do that than bottle it up leading to ill health
ok picture this date of anniversary 2 days later, person has family member burried along side grave, holes filled graves returned back to there wonderful memorial again, family turns up to REMEMBER there lost ones, none the wiser weres the problem ?
VIVERS

You're a cold fish. End of.
[quote][p][bold]VIVERS[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sparkster[/bold] wrote: Im not going to argue here but im glad that i have compassion to feel for people, i would be upset if a relative of mine had a load of dirt dumped on their grave, again I hope you never have the misfortune to lose someone who means a lot to you. Grief is not selfish in the least, I agree with you that we all deal with grief in our own way, if its through tears then so be it, better to do that than bottle it up leading to ill health[/p][/quote]ok picture this date of anniversary 2 days later, person has family member burried along side grave, holes filled graves returned back to there wonderful memorial again, family turns up to REMEMBER there lost ones, none the wiser weres the problem ?[/p][/quote]VIVERS You're a cold fish. End of. Doctor Watson

2:53pm Wed 5 Feb 14

mrbacon says...

Gone a bit quiet VIVERS,whats wrong mouth full of dirt??
Gone a bit quiet VIVERS,whats wrong mouth full of dirt?? mrbacon

2:55pm Wed 5 Feb 14

VIVERS says...

mrbacon wrote:
VIVERS wooo tiger, not only are you a tad insensitive but your spelling is terrible ,are you under 12 or from a poor background?
no just excited and yes a poor background thank you for noticing hope i spelt that correctly
[quote][p][bold]mrbacon[/bold] wrote: VIVERS wooo tiger, not only are you a tad insensitive but your spelling is terrible ,are you under 12 or from a poor background?[/p][/quote]no just excited and yes a poor background thank you for noticing hope i spelt that correctly VIVERS

3:04pm Wed 5 Feb 14

mrbacon says...

whats getting you excited? talking about graves and dirt? and being nasty? i pity you and shake my head.Atleast your spelling was correct this time!
whats getting you excited? talking about graves and dirt? and being nasty? i pity you and shake my head.Atleast your spelling was correct this time! mrbacon

3:07pm Wed 5 Feb 14

VIVERS says...

VIVERS wrote:
mrbacon wrote:
whats getting you excited? talking about graves and dirt? and being nasty? i pity you and shake my head.Atleast your spelling was correct this time!
good lod selpll ceckerss
all of the above lol
[quote][p][bold]VIVERS[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mrbacon[/bold] wrote: whats getting you excited? talking about graves and dirt? and being nasty? i pity you and shake my head.Atleast your spelling was correct this time![/p][/quote]good lod selpll ceckerss[/p][/quote]all of the above lol VIVERS

3:11pm Wed 5 Feb 14

mrbacon says...

I think you will find it "their" not "there" in your previous post.Moron troll
I think you will find it "their" not "there" in your previous post.Moron troll mrbacon

3:36pm Wed 5 Feb 14

sparkster says...

quite agree mrbacon some people just cant grow up and i agree about trolling
quite agree mrbacon some people just cant grow up and i agree about trolling sparkster

5:57pm Wed 5 Feb 14

sparkster says...

0h I have a sense of humour all right just ask anyone who knows me you dont know me so dont judge on whether I have a sense of humour or not, I suggest you learn to spell
0h I have a sense of humour all right just ask anyone who knows me you dont know me so dont judge on whether I have a sense of humour or not, I suggest you learn to spell sparkster

6:51pm Wed 5 Feb 14

jo1411 says...

Vivers please remember family members are seeing your nasty comments. You are entitled to your opinion, but you are getting very personal now.
If you don't agree with what the article is stating, stop reading it and it will no longer be an issue. Let people live their lives and grieve in their own way, and just concentrate on your own life, not trying to upset innocent people!!
Vivers please remember family members are seeing your nasty comments. You are entitled to your opinion, but you are getting very personal now. If you don't agree with what the article is stating, stop reading it and it will no longer be an issue. Let people live their lives and grieve in their own way, and just concentrate on your own life, not trying to upset innocent people!! jo1411

8:01pm Wed 5 Feb 14

sparkster says...

well said jo1411 I couldn't have put it better myself, you have summed up what I feel certainly. You have to pity Vivers, this person seems to enjoy upsetting others and as you rightly say family members may well be reading
well said jo1411 I couldn't have put it better myself, you have summed up what I feel certainly. You have to pity Vivers, this person seems to enjoy upsetting others and as you rightly say family members may well be reading sparkster

8:24pm Wed 5 Feb 14

jo1411 says...

I know they are reading as it's my family buried there. We are all really appreciative of the lovely comments from you all, just a shame some people have to take it a step to far.
Thank you to everyone who have left such kind comments
I know they are reading as it's my family buried there. We are all really appreciative of the lovely comments from you all, just a shame some people have to take it a step to far. Thank you to everyone who have left such kind comments jo1411

9:10pm Wed 5 Feb 14

magpieblues says...

Yes we are reading and I have reported his rude comments especially to all the other nice people on here
Yes we are reading and I have reported his rude comments especially to all the other nice people on here magpieblues

9:11pm Wed 5 Feb 14

magpieblues says...

I will not belittle myself by joining in either as me and my family have actually got a life and one which doesn't involve arguing like a petty little child on here
I will not belittle myself by joining in either as me and my family have actually got a life and one which doesn't involve arguing like a petty little child on here magpieblues

9:15pm Wed 5 Feb 14

magpieblues says...

amy family and I have actually go a life unlike some of the petty people on here sd much so that we have better things to do than spend all our time on here slagging innocent people off. If you don't like it don't read it. If it bothers you that much then find something else more constructive to do
amy family and I have actually go a life unlike some of the petty people on here sd much so that we have better things to do than spend all our time on here slagging innocent people off. If you don't like it don't read it. If it bothers you that much then find something else more constructive to do magpieblues

10:17pm Wed 5 Feb 14

sparkster says...

well said magpieblues, my mum and I have had experience of this so my heart goes out to the family as I can understand their feelings, unlike some.
well said magpieblues, my mum and I have had experience of this so my heart goes out to the family as I can understand their feelings, unlike some. sparkster

10:56pm Wed 5 Feb 14

magpieblues says...

The thing is unless people know the whole story (which they obviously don't as papers and the news only print and show what they can) then they are commenting on an empty gesture really. No one knows what hell we have been through the last few months and the circumstances of what we have been through
The thing is unless people know the whole story (which they obviously don't as papers and the news only print and show what they can) then they are commenting on an empty gesture really. No one knows what hell we have been through the last few months and the circumstances of what we have been through magpieblues

10:04am Thu 6 Feb 14

lisa whitemore says...

Am interested as to how many other families have been distressed by SCC Lack of Interest or respect to our dearly beloved ones. Seems the apology with flowers is a way to hush the complainants on these matters to ensure it stays out of the media & publics eye
Am interested as to how many other families have been distressed by SCC Lack of Interest or respect to our dearly beloved ones. Seems the apology with flowers is a way to hush the complainants on these matters to ensure it stays out of the media & publics eye lisa whitemore

5:10pm Sat 8 Feb 14

suzy54 says...

I have a lot of sympathy for this family but also with the cemetery workers as they are not only having to contend with the terrible conditions caused by the recent weather, which incidentally they work through, newly dug graves filling with water etc, but also the fact that due to council cutbacks there are only a few left to cope with all council cemeteries. This grave preparation did have a lot of mistakes but please remember the family of the person the new grave was prepared for and the fact that six weeks earlier it was the same team that prepared the sisters own family grave for their family burial which I assume didn't bring any complaints.
I have a lot of sympathy for this family but also with the cemetery workers as they are not only having to contend with the terrible conditions caused by the recent weather, which incidentally they work through, newly dug graves filling with water etc, but also the fact that due to council cutbacks there are only a few left to cope with all council cemeteries. This grave preparation did have a lot of mistakes but please remember the family of the person the new grave was prepared for and the fact that six weeks earlier it was the same team that prepared the sisters own family grave for their family burial which I assume didn't bring any complaints. suzy54

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