Reader’s letter: Rawdon Crematorium visit led to heartache


West Leeds Dispatch reader Paul Abraham writes about his recent experience at Rawdon Crematorium …

On Saturday the 30th September my 89 year-old father, 87 year-old auntie and myself went to Rawdon crematorium to pay our respects to my mum who left us 12 years ago, only to find the rose tree and plaque we had paid for had been removed.

Visiting another part of the crematorium we then found that my uncle’s and his father’s rose and plaque had also been removed. Taking a closer look around the crematorium it is obvious that a major removal of rose trees and plaques has taken place this year. This action caused great distress on an already emotional day.

I contacted the Bereavement Services Manager at Leeds City Council asking for an explanation.

I have now been informed that some years ago the council decided to stop sending renewal letters out to save money, but neglected to issue a press-release to announce the fact.

Purely in regard to the money issue, it would only need a couple of renewals to pay for the entire yearly mailshot and thus avoid causing distress to many families.

Please could you inform your readers about our experience as we wouldn’t wish anyone else to have to share the same upsetting emotions and shock we encountered on our visit.

Paul Abraham


  1. Sadly, I think they the same thing may have happened to me. My dad died and I wanted to add his name to my mums memorial plaque (and shrub) only to find it had expired 6 months before. Dad would never have let it lapse and fortunately I was able to renew it without too much fuss. I hadn’t realised this was the new way of working, I just assumed it was an error and we’d been overlooked. You would think that the amount they charge for the memorials, a simple reminder isn’t too much to ask for!?

  2. Such a sad story. Have heard of similar. Council systems should be there to help and support us during difficult times, not cause more heartache…

  3. Disgraceful procedure by those who did this. No apology is acceptable for instances like this.You should be ashamed of the powers who changed things without correct procedure being followed.


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