A BEREAVED son has received an apology from Solihull Council after he could not view his mother’s entry in Robin Hood Cemetery’s Book of Remembrance.
After the death of Keith Hodges’ parents, his family paid to place two beautiful calligraphic birthday entries in the Shirley-based cemetery’s remembrance book.
But on his mother’s birthday, on June 23, Mr Hodges was ‘dismayed’ to discover the book had been left open at the previous day’s entry and the cemetery’s computer was not working.
“It is a number of years since my mother died, but had I been recently bereaved I would have been distraught by the insensitivity of these changes,” said Mr Hodges.
“I have no doubt that people who are not familiar with modern technology, or indeed may have travelled a distance to visit the chapel at weekends, will like me be very disappointed with these changes.
“There is the option to use a computer to call up the required page or to look at the entry on your own personal computer at home, which to my mind is not the same. Incidentally the computer at the cemetery was not working.”
Bereaved family members can make a one-off payment of between £91 for a two-line entry for their loved one, and up to £165 for eight lines in the remembrance book.
Cemetery staff no longer manually turn the pages on the weekends and bank holidays but an electronic copy is supposed to be available for visitors.
Councillor Diana Holl-Allen, cabinet member for safer communities, said the electronic book was now fully operational and checked every weekday but she apologised for the distress caused to Mr Hodges.
“The system has very occasionally been known to freeze for a few short moments, which appears to be what may have happened on this occasion.
“We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.”