Graves damaged as trees crash down in cemetery

Marion Lacey with one of the fallen trees at South Stoneham Cemetery.

Marion Lacey with one of the fallen trees at South Stoneham Cemetery.

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Political reporter

A CLEAR-up operation was due to get under way in a Hampshire cemetery after two large trees came crashing down and damaged a number of headstones.

The wreckage was discovered by widow Marion Lacey as she visited the grave of her late husband George in Southampton’s South Stoneham Cemetery. He was 70 when he died from an aneurysm in June 2012.

Marion, 55, is angry with the city council after she says she warned them about the state of the trees there several months ago, but claims little was done apart from one dangerous tree being removed.

Marion, from Saturn Close in Lordshill, said: “I was very upset when I saw what had happened.

“Luckily George’s gravestone wasn’t damaged, but there were about eight others that were hit by the trees and I think some were damaged.

“I feel really sorry for the families of the other people whose relations’ graves were hit by the trees, and what they will see when they visit them next time.”

It is not currently known what brought the trees down or when, but Marion believes it may have been strong winds.

The trees are thought to have fallen in the early hours of Friday morning last week.

She added: “It makes me angry. I had told them about those trees but nothing was done.

“The whole graveyard up there is in a disgusting state. There’s long grass and potholes which must make it difficult for elderly people.”

Southampton City Council says it is now planning to have the trees removed.

A council spokesman said: “As soon as we were made aware that a tree may have fallen on some graves in South Stoneham Cemetery, we sent a team out to conduct a site visit and to arrange for any necessary works to be undertaken.”


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