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My grandfather’s grave should not be in this state
1:10pm Wednesday 20th June 2012 in News
A WORCESTER cemetery has become so overgrown that it is both an eyesore and a safety hazard, says a concerned resident who visits regularly to pay his respects to his grandfather.
Stephen Ratcliffe has been tending to his grandfather Bill Staight’s grave at Astwood Road Cemetery, in Rainbow Hill, since his death in 1992. He has visited at least once a month over the 20 years since and said that, until recently, the area had always been fairly well tended.
However, this has not been the case in recent weeks and Mr Ratcliffe has even had to resort to cutting the area around his grandfather’s grave to keep it in order.
“The grass has been getting longer and longer and I would say that it has been a real safety hazard for at least a month or so now,” said the 41-year-old, of Langdale Drive, Warndon.
“Someone could very easily trip on a stone or a grave that they cannot see and seriously hurt themselves. It is also a real eyesore.
"I admit that a lot of the graves there are older and never tended to, but there are some, such as my grandfather’s, that are and it is not really what you would expect.
"You only have to look at St John’s Cemetery, for example, which is immaculate.”
Worcester City Council, which is responsible for the cemetery’s upkeep, said that the extremely wet weather of recent months had seen it fall behind with cutting the grass in some areas.
“Some areas of the cemetery, which are the most visited, have a weekly grass cut while the less visited areas have a monthly cut. The grass on the old part of the cemetery is cut monthly,” a spokesman said.
“There have been three cuts in the old part so far this year but due to the extremely wet weather over the spring and summer, the council is a bit behind with the monthly cut areas.
“We are working very hard to catch up but the grass is growing very quickly at the moment because of the rain and warmer weather.”
They added that, in a recent survey of cemetery users, 89 per cent of those who responded thought the area was kept well.