A STONEMASON in Stratford-upon-Avon has offered to make safe the vandalised memorials at Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery, free of any labour charge.
The mindless act of vandalism at the town’s cemetery, in Evesham Road, which shocked the community, took place at around 4am on Saturday 8th December. Eleven memorials were hit, including irreparable damage to the iconic 10ft angel on the gravestone of novelist Marie Corelli, who was buried there in 1924.
With the exception of the vandalised Marie Corelli monument—which has been removed to secure storage for safekeeping—Geo Clifford and Sons, of Sanctus Street, will carry out the safety works to the other ten damaged memorials.
In a letter to Stuart Clifford, of Geo Clifford and Sons, town clerk Sarah Summers said that responsibility for repairing or replacing monuments rested with the owners or their families, not the town council.
However, it was the council’s responsibility to make sure memorials within the cemetery were safe and do not present a hazard.
In the letter, Mrs Summers wrote: “We are therefore extremely grateful for your very kind offer to make safe the vandalised memorials free of any labour charge, with the exception of the Marie Corelli monument, which you do not wish to undertake. We gratefully accept.”
The town council will pay for the material costs once the work is completed, and this has been estimated to cost less than £200. Any additional repair works that need to be carried out, after the monuments have been made safe, will be the responsibility of the owner, or their family.
Mr Clifford told the Herald: “I will repair what I can. What’s happened has been awful.”
In the meantime, police are still investigating the incident and are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.
Sgt Richard Thomas, of Stratford Town Safer Neighbourhood Team, said that on the same night on the 8th December, a vehicle had been damaged in The Willows, and a property in Albany Road was damaged.
He added: “Any witnesses who saw or heard anything at all, should get in touch. We welcome anything new and we’re currently investigating it.”
Sgt Thomas can be contacted on 01789 444503 or by e-mailing Rich.Thomas@warwickshire.pnn. police.uk
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