Ex-pat Henry Jones has branded a cemetery a ‘disgraceful mess’ after travelling 4,000 miles to find his parents’ grave in an untidy state.
Now the 70-year-old is calling on Stoke-on-Trent City Council to improve the maintenance of Hanley Cemetery.
Shelton-born Henry had flown over from his home in Ontario, Canada, to visit the Potteries when he discovered his mum and dad’s final resting place was covered by overgrown grass.
He said: “I have five siblings spread across the city, buried in different cemeteries. I visited Longton, Hartshill, Fenton, Carmountside and Hanley – where my mum and dad are buried.
“The others were in pretty good shape, but Hanley was absolutely shocking.
“My mum and dad passed away in the early ’70s and my dad served 21 years in the British Army. He doesn’t deserve to be left like this.
“Carmountside looked like it was out of a movie. It was immaculate and very clean. But Hanley was a disgraceful mess.”
Henry usually places flowers on a friend’s grave too, but couldn’t find the grave because the headstone was missing.
“I don’t know what is going on down there,” he added. “So many of the stones have gone missing. It’s almost like they want it to go and put their attention on Carmountside.
“Where have all the stones gone? They need to invest a lot of money into it.”
Stoke-on-Trent City Council today moved to reassure him that maintenance was being addressed.
A spokesman said: “Our mowing and maintenance teams are committed to maintaining our nine cemeteries across the city. Grass cutting in our cemeteries is completed by a mowing team who follow a rota, cutting one cemetery before moving onto the next.
“The team are currently in Hanley Cemetery and it is anticipated that cutting will be completed by next week.
“There are a number of reasons why memorials may not be present on some of the graves, such as having being removed for repairs or renovations.
“Anyone who has issues about any of the sites is urged to contact us directly on 01782 235050 or via [email protected]”
Top stories on StokeonTrentLive
Follow StokeonTrentLive on Facebook – Like our Facebook page to get the latest news in your feed and join in the lively discussions in the comments. Click here to give it a like!
Follow us on Twitter – For breaking news and the latest stories, click here to follow SOTLive on Twitter .
Follow us on Instagram – Featuring pictures past and present from across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire – and if you tag us in your posts, we could repost your picture on our page! We also put the latest news in our Instagram Stories. Click here to follow StokeonTrentLive on Instagram .
- Female teen double killer, 15, boasted ‘you’ll find my footprint on my dad’ after slaughtering him
- Sand Martins fly 3,500 miles from Africa to roost on Norfolk coast only to find council has covered their nests in netting to protect eroding cliffs
- New parenting trend sees dads ‘dry-nursing’ to help soothe their newborns when their mums aren’t there
- African American model, 25, refuses to wear monkey costume of overgrown ears and lips and blasts the Fashion Institute of Technology's NYFW runway show for being racist
- Mum’s family desperately tried to save her from ‘monster’ dad
- Holly Willoughby shares selfie with her ageless mum
- Over 6,000 bodies found in Burundi's mass graves
- SHOCKING: Over 6,000 bodies found in Burundi’s mass graves
- Dads have a maternal instinct too! New Netflix series on the science behind the parent-baby bond reveals some VERY surprising discoveries
- Wendell Sailor opens up on the question he never got to ask his birth mum