Families in the Welsh town of Dendigh were left heartbroken after the area where ashes were scatter and rose bushes were planted was dug up/ dug over by unsuspecting council workers.
It would appear employees working for the council took it upon themselves to clear a plot of land in Ystrad Road graveyard in Denbigh. Removing rosebushes planted in remberance and disturbing ground used for scattering ashes – leaving only bear earth.
Not surprisingly families took to social media to vent the feelings
Sarah Birch wrote “My mum planted a rose here 15 years ago in memory of my grandparents.
“Mum looked after it every two weeks, it was beautiful – and now it’s gone?
“Why didn’t the council warn people by putting some notices up? Families could then have had a chance of getting some of the ashes and the roses could have been replanted elsewhere?”
Val Barnett said: “It’s like digging up someone’s grave. That’s so disgusting and disrespectful. No one cares any more about anything.”
The council seem have apologised for the mistake
County councillor Mark Young said he’d had “strong words” with the council workers involved and said they were “mortified” when they realised what they had done.
“Although the communication could have been better regarding this, I can confirm that obviously the families are mortified but so are the council staff involved,” he said.
“Going forward, improvements are going to be made. More benches are going to be given, and families will be able to put plaques on them and they will have an opportunity to replant the roses.”
In a letter of apology sent to Cllr Young, Denbighshire County Council said: “Please accept our apologies for any upset this work has caused.
“We are completing this work with best intentions as we were unaware of the historical scattering of ashes or planting of rose bushes in this area.
“We also welcome and are happy to meet with yourself, councillors and residents to discuss the improvement works as discussed with you earlier.
“The historical scattering of ashes and planting of rose bushes in the area is something we have only just been made aware of and as the area had become significantly overgrown the cemeteries team have started work on clearing the area to carry out improvements.”
In a statement, the council told North Wales Live: “Moving forward, we will turf the area and install benches to provide families with the opportunity of purchasing a plaque to be mounted onto the benches in memory of their loved one.
“We will plant new roses once we have completed the installation of the benches.””
So that is a proper mess – poor families must have been heart-breaking, it is good the council have come clean. I read this however and thought hang on:
- Was any soil removed?
- Are they then gong to make money out of upset relatives?
- Why wasn’t the plot maintained, why was it overgrown?
- Surely this area would be designated in the plan of the site as a scattering ashes area and this would bound to be checked a minimum before work commence – it is not some random corner of a field?
- What checks were made and with whom, they must have a note of who was scattered where?
- Was the lady allowed to planet her rose bush off her own bat – surely not.
- Why had the residents not complained about this garden previously?
- Are they going to invite the families for some sort on reinstatement ceremony?
- And finally, who on earth says ‘moving forward’ in a statement? Seriously – this was an apology not an efficiency email to a line manger! And then go on to say this could be a nice little earner for us…!
So, I went onto read the comments, which I thought were worth adding below, it appears some felt the same. With the normal range of sentiment – rage to tolerance and forgiveness
Personally, I think an apology goes someway, compensation is not the answer but making good and not seeking to generate revenue (or even cover costs) would be the fairest….
- Surely the council have records of ashes been scattered and bushes been planted
- The council workers have been blamed for this act. What is unusual is that the workers did the work without being instructed by management. It’s very odd that the work was undertaken by council workers who used their initiative as well as did more than was expected of them
- This is disgusting it tells you that they never knew about it, on the other hand some workers were told not to do anything. I really think that they should pay for plaques to be made, it not covering the distress that people are going through. Thinking of all concerned
- The fat pencil pushers of the world without a clue……again.
- It’s just an upsetting accident, no need to go looking for a pound of flesh. Just work with the council to install a sustainable & approved memorial to your loved ones & try to find the forgiveness in your heart that genuine mistakes do sometimes happen.
- Too much anger and litigation around.
- The Council need to MANDATE just basic weeding (NO weedkillers!) and leave it alone!!
- The cheek of the uncaring council offering a chance to purchase plaques to remember loved ones, Purchase! Some compensation!
- This is shocking, the council clearly should have asked first. They should be made to replant every single rose
- Even though it sounds like a terrible mistake, I really feel for the poor families whose relatives’ ashes were there along with the flowers in remembrance of them and am not sure a plaque on a bench will ease the pain they must be feeling. Very sad for all concerned 🙁
- If the council were aware of “historic planting and ashes” they either have accepted it or they should have stopped it. No excuse what so ever. and as for a bench well yes that really makes up for the distress caused to the families I don’t think!
The original article can be found here: