Bereaved family members can pay up to £165 to place a beautiful calligraphic entry for their deceased loved one in the Shirley-based cemetery’s Remembrance Book, to be viewed on the anniversary of their death.
But when one loving daughter, from Hillfield, who did not want to be named, went to visit the grave of her mother who died five years ago on Sunday April 22, she was shocked to find the book’s pages had been left open on the previous day’s entries.
“It’s disrespectful, I could have had relatives travelling a long way to visit,” she said.
“There were no notices or anyone around to ask and the website still says the book is open and available everyday. If you’ve paid for an entry you should be able to see it on that one special day of the year.
“It was very upsetting.”
The minimum one-off payment for a small, two-line entry in the book is £91 which increases on a line by line basis up to £165 for eight.
A council spokesperson apologised for the incident, blaming the recent theft of the cemetery’s Electronic Book of Remembrance.
“Following the installation of the Electronic Book of Remembrance, the council no longer manually turns the pages on the weekends and bank holidays,” she added.
“It is with sincere regret that the council learned of visitors to the Remembrance rooms on Sunday finding the Electronic Book of Remembrance unavailable, and that pages of the existing Book of Remembrance had not been turned to the appropriate dates.
“The council is working to replace the electronic service as soon as possible and notices have now been put up explaining the situation.”