Daughter ‘heartbroken’ after flowers moved from mother’s grave in London Colney

Jacqueline Farmer's grave at London Road Cemetery.

Jacqueline Farmer's grave at London Road Cemetery. - Credit: Archant

A devoted daughter was left heartbroken to discover that flowers and presents had been taken from her beloved mother’s grave and dumped in a store cupboard.

Jacqueline Farmer's grave at London Road Cemetery.

Jacqueline Farmer's grave at London Road Cemetery. - Credit: Archant

Georgina Franchi, 45, from London Colney, visited her mother’s grave in London Road Cemetery with her sister and discovered that flowers, angels and messages had been moved.

She said: “All the flower pots, cherubs and notes have been chucked in a cupboard. We came in and found Mum’s belongings in a store cupboard.

“There’s no respect whatsoever for our mum’s belongings. Things were all broken and just chucked together.

“It’s just disgusting. We are absolutely heartbroken.”

Georgina’s mum, Jacqueline Farmer, died on July 27 last year. According to Georgina, each grave site at the cemetery is supposed to have a designated 12ins by 12ins plot in which friends and family members can leave flowers and notes.

She said: “We made it really nice and kept it 12 by 12. They’ve taken off hanging things, little angels and messages that are on paper. They’ve destroyed everyone’s grave.

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“It’s heartbreaking.”

Joe Tavernier, deputy head of community services for St Albans district council, said: “We have acted in an open and sensitive way while dealing with a difficult issue that arose at the London Road cemetery

“Earlier this year, it became clear that we needed to tidy up the cemetery including the trees by the drive, the garden of rest and some of the plots.

“In recent times, it has become a custom for many family and friends to leave mementos by memorials to their loved ones. These have included tea light candles, wind chimes, Christmas decorations and fairy lights.

“The amount of objects, though, had gradually become overwhelming in parts of the cemetery with many becoming damaged, rusted and scattered over the ground.

“We decided we had no option but to carry out a clear up in accordance with our cemetery regulations. Signs were put up to publicise our intentions in March and the removal took place three months later, giving people plenty of time to take away possessions.

“Removed objects are being held in storage for a further two months and can be collected. Great care was taken to ensure none were damaged during the removal.

“We are sorry to hear this resident was upset and we will be happy to meet with them to discuss their concerns.”