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Upset as memorial plaque is stolen

A memorial plaque remembering much-respected Cotswold Warden Rita Turner has been stolen.

Rita, who lived in Shipston with her husband Allen, was a warden for 21 years. She died in August 2016 following a battle with cancer.

Last November her fellow wardens and family planted six hornbeam and oak trees and interred her ashes along a country walk between Long Compton and Little Compton. A plaque in dedication to Rita was securely staked behind a metal mesh tree guard, but this has now been stolen.

Speaking about how he heard about the missing plaque, Allen Turner told the Herald: “Rita has five brothers and two sisters and it is important for them to have somewhere they could go and visit and remember her. Her brother Len Dudfield went to visit three weeks ago, and that’s when it was discovered that the plague had gone. It was very secure, so someone would have had to deliberately get behind the wire mesh and dig it up.”

Allen continued: “I’m flabbergasted anyone would do such a thing. We’ve searched the surrounding area to see if the plaque was just vandalized and abandoned but didn’t find anything.

"The wardens will put up another plaque, but that that’s not the point: everyone is very upset.”

If you know anything about Rita’s missing plaque please email Allen at allenffturner@gmail.com

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