Anger over notice to 'remove tributes from memorials' at Sheffield crematorium

The sign at the crematorium.
The sign at the crematorium.

Grieving relatives have been told they must remove all tributes from memorials to their dead loved ones at a Sheffield crematorium - or face having them taken away.

A notice has appeared at Grenoside Crematorium warning visitors that sentimental ornaments and other items must be removed due to 'health and safety reasons'.

Grenoside Crematorium.

Grenoside Crematorium.

The sign states that visitors have until May 8 to remove them after which time staff will take them away. Trinkets will be kept for three months before being 'disposed' of.

The move has sparked outrage among residents who have lasting memorials dedicated to lost loved ones at the crematorium.

Alison Leasley said: "My mum for one is up there and she is visited every week where we change her flowers, clean her plaque, take small gifts on birthdays, Mother's Day, Christmas, etc. How can this company feel it is right to take this small privilege away from any of their loved ones.

"Have they never lost someone close to them and felt grief?"

She added: "It is not only me and there is hundreds of others that feel the same way so I think they have a fight on their hands."

Kerry Helliwell said: "My granddad is scattered there and our family visit regular. We have things all around his plaque that his kids, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have bought or made.

"I'm absolutely devastated and upset by all this as are a lot of other people."

A number of people said the crematorium has recently been taken over by a firm called Dignity.

The sign at the crematorium reads: "Please note that due to grounds maintenance reasons and for the health and safety of people visiting the grounds all personal memorabilia and tributes need to be removed."

A spokesman for Dignity said the rules are not new and have been inherited by the firm from the previous site operators Co-operative Funeral Care.

He added there has been some 'misinformation' about the policy and that some items were causing obstructions for grounds maintenance staff.

A more in depth statement is due to be issued in the coming few days.