Take care in safety checks

I am chair of the churchyard renewal group of volunteers at St Nicholas’s Church in Cramlington Village, a very historical place and probably the only one in Cramlington now.

I have noted your article (News Post Leader, June 18) regarding safety checks on headstones in Northumberland.

In view of what I regard as the legal vandalism in the past, when headstones were pushed over and, in many cases, smashed, I would implore those responsible to ensure that the stones laid down are placed more carefully, with the writing facing upwards so that they can be read.

We get many visitors from all over the world tracing their family history, as do many other churches and churchyards.

We have a family coming over to the village from Australia in July, and last year we had three such visitors. Imagine their disappointment if the stone they seek cannot be read or turned over.

There is much history to be read on these stones – for example, mining accidents, sea tragedies and children lost to accidents and infectious diseases, and if turned upside down, this is lost for ever.

This is a situation all over our beautiful county, and just a little more care and attention would be appreciated.

We have costed for having these stones turned over, and obviously it would be too expensive for us volunteers, and the county has refused to rectify this lack of foresight.

Doreen Morton

Cramlington