East Lancs cemetery workers accused of removing flowers from soldier's grave

The planking left over his grave

Michael Goggins

First published in News Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

CEMETERY workers showed a ‘total lack of respect’ by removing flowers from a grave and using the plot to store their ‘dirty materials’, a family has claimed.

Jenny Goggins, 25, said she was devastated by the state of her brother Michael’s grave at Bacup Cemetery, which she found was ‘covered up by wooden planks’ on Friday morning.

The mum-of-three, of Rossendale Crescent in Bacup, said another grave was due to be dug about 12 feet away, so council workers intended to leave the planks there until the burial.

She said: “It was the anniversary of Michael’s death just the other day, but they just took the fresh flowers and chucked them behind the grave.

“One plank was left balancing on his gravestone so you couldn’t even see his name.

“And there were more covering up the plot on the ground.

“I was just shocked because it showed no respect whatsoever. We even asked the workers to move it all, but they refused.

“I don’t even know why they’ve put them there now because a lady at the council said the funeral wasn’t even until next Friday.”

Burnley and Pendle Citizen:

Her brother Michael Goggins, who was a former Grenadier Guardsman, died in a crash on the Haslingden bypass on May 4, 2008. He was aged just 22.

Jenny added: “I was just devasted to see the grave like that and my parents were both fuming. I think it’s disgusting and really, really hurtful. It’s been so hard for us since he died and it’s so important for us to visit and look after that grave.

“It just makes us feel that bit better and closer to him.”

There was no one available for comment at Rossendale Council over the weekend.

Council leader Alyson Barnes said she had not heard about the incident, but added: “I’m happy to take this up for the family.

“Clearly they are upset, so we’ll have a chat with the staff to see what’s gone on and what we can do to remedy it.

“It’s certainly not the kind of story I’d expect to hear about our cemetery staff, as I’ve always found them to be very sensitive with families.”

Comments (5)

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1:33pm Mon 12 May 14

noddy57 says...

Cor! blimey you would think they would have shown a little more decorum , l totally agree with the lady and l would expect the Councill workers responsible to make a public apology and replace the flowers with fresh ones.
Cor! blimey you would think they would have shown a little more decorum , l totally agree with the lady and l would expect the Councill workers responsible to make a public apology and replace the flowers with fresh ones. noddy57
  • Score: 27

1:55pm Mon 12 May 14

A Darener says...

Absolutely no excuse for their inconsideration.
Absolutely no excuse for their inconsideration. A Darener
  • Score: 27

4:37pm Mon 12 May 14

Bluelizzy says...

Find them, sack them.
Find them, sack them. Bluelizzy
  • Score: 11

4:47pm Mon 12 May 14

fedup with your lies says...

Bluelizzy wrote:
Find them, sack them.
Totally agree, if these workers don't have any respect for the surroundings they work at, than there is no option but to sack them. What really gets me is that it's a soldier too. I'm disgusted to say the least!!!!
[quote][p][bold]Bluelizzy[/bold] wrote: Find them, sack them.[/p][/quote]Totally agree, if these workers don't have any respect for the surroundings they work at, than there is no option but to sack them. What really gets me is that it's a soldier too. I'm disgusted to say the least!!!! fedup with your lies
  • Score: 11

4:53am Thu 15 May 14

stekebabman says...

Absolutely bloody disgusting
BUT, then again, it's just another typical day in Rossendale Council life !!
Not sure where the new staff are being recruited from, but I'd be downright ashamed of myself, NO RESPECT whatsoever.
Sounds like a certain few members of RBC could do with a course in diplomacy.
I actually had pleasure of meeting Michael, and he was one of the most lovely people you could wish to meet.
Absolutely bloody disgusting BUT, then again, it's just another typical day in Rossendale Council life !! Not sure where the new staff are being recruited from, but I'd be downright ashamed of myself, NO RESPECT whatsoever. Sounds like a certain few members of RBC could do with a course in diplomacy. I actually had pleasure of meeting Michael, and he was one of the most lovely people you could wish to meet. stekebabman
  • Score: 2

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