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'To me, it's disrespectful' - cemetery visitor speaks of dismay at track marks discovery

PUBLISHED: 18:16 09 May 2019 | UPDATED: 08:19 10 May 2019

Track marks discovered across graves on Earlham Cemetery. Picture: Trevor Barcham

Track marks discovered across graves on Earlham Cemetery. Picture: Trevor Barcham

Trevor Barcham

A cemetery visitor has spoken of his dismay after discovering tyre marks left across graves in the cemetery.

Track marks discovered across graves on Earlham Cemetery. Picture: Trevor BarchamTrack marks discovered across graves on Earlham Cemetery. Picture: Trevor Barcham

Trevor Barcham, of Bracondale in Norwich, was visiting the burial plots of his parents Edward and Irene in Earlham Cemetery, when he spotted the tracks across three graves on the site.

He said he suspected the marks had been left by a mini digger being used to create new plots in the cemetery.

Mr Barcham, a checkout operator at Sainsbury's, immediately alerted Norwich City Council via telephone, but said he was disappointed it had happened to begin with.

He said: "I'd have been down there in person if my parents' grave had been one of those affected - I think it is disgusting.

"I obviously understand that it is a working cemetery so new graves have to be dug, but surely they could have found a route that didn't involve going over any of the burials?"

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Mr Barcham, 64, was paying a regular visit to the cemetery to see whether he needed to do any maintenance ahead of what would have been his mother's birthday, on May 18.

He added: "When you lay your parent or loved one to rest you expect them to receive a certain level of care. To me, it's just disrespectful.

"The person who spoke to me at the city council has told me it is being investigated."

While Earlham Crematorium is operated privately by Dignity UK funeral directors, the cemetery itself is maintained by the city council.

A spokesman for Norwich City Council said: "We approach every single burial carefully, thoughtfully and professionally. As a working cemetery Earlham is a busy site and also has a considerable number of graves with no direct access from a road or path.

"If a neighbouring grave has to be reopened, for whatever reason, this will be done using a mechanical digger. As a result, track marks can sometimes be visible immediately afterwards - particularly on days when the ground is wet.

"We use boards wherever possible to minimise track marks appearing while preparing burial plots but sometimes this simply can't be avoided."

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