Angry mourner hits out at vehicles driving over graves

One grave in Mayfield Cemetery which has been driven over.
One grave in Mayfield Cemetery which has been driven over.

Angry mourners have hit out at damage to relatives’ graves after they were driven over.

Visitors to Mayfield Cemetery, in Cramlington, have hit out vehicles which have churned up the grass around graves, damaged headstones and even being driven onto graves.

The issue has been going on for more than a year with Northumberland County Council saying work was under way to widen the paths and roads in a bid to prevent any further problems.

But local resident Alan Shellard says it is making no difference, and was appalled to see tyre tracks on top of one grave.

Mr Shellard, who regularly visits his grandson Robert’s grave, thought the problem had been caused by council workmen.

He said: “I know it is a working cemetery but the workmen are showing no respect.

“People are driving within two feet of the graves, churning up the grass, while they have driven over one grave. You can clearly see the tyre tracks.

“The grave opposite Robert you can see where someone has gone back and forward over it to turn around.

“If I was a relative of that person, I would be appalled.

“It is disgraceful and disgusting. They are even hitting headstones in some places.

“It has been going on for over a year. I wrote to the council three years ago asking them to tell their workmen not to cut the corners in their wagons.

“They said they would Tarmac the corner by 1.5m to give them more road and room on the path but it is making no difference.

“Why can’t people not drive around this part of the cemetery, or be more careful?”

Mr Shellard says he has contacted councillors and officials at the county council but has yet to receive a response.

A spokesperson for Northumberland County Council said: “Northumberland County Council has been made aware of some accidental damage that appears to have been caused by a visitor to the cemetery when manoeuvring their vehicle within the site.

“We would like to reassure any concerned relatives that the damage affects the stonework around the edge of a single grave and an adjacent grassed area.

“The Council has sought to contact the deed holder of the grave to notify them of the damage and we will be undertaking repairs to the grave surrounds as quickly as possible.

“We would remind all users of this small cemetery to take extreme care when accessing by motor vehicle.”