Grieving mums in Skegness have begun the harrowing task of removing toys and treasured items from from their babies graves.
Yesterday Serina Pickering went to St Mary’s Churchyard in Winthorpe to remove a teddy which had been there 17 years since her baby daughter was stillborn and buried in the cemetery.
Serina, who has shared her heartache in a video in a final plea to Skegness Town Council to change their minds, said: “It’s so unfair. I am heartbroken.
“I would pay to look after my own every week.”
The 33-year-old mum of four started a petition on her Facebook page in September last year after receiving a letter from Skegness Town Council telling her to remove toys, artefacts and artificial flowers from the grave.
Now the council has given relatives of loved ones buried in St Mary’s Churchyard in Winthorpe until May 1 to remove artefacts and toys or face them being removed.
When she received the letter from the council last year, she told the Standard: “I cried all morning when I got the letter. “I’d put flowers, teddies and a little fence on there. I’d paid for the plot and it wasn’t hurting anything. I just think it’s wrong not to be allowed to put things on it.”
Melissa Pilton-Jones was visiting the cemetery today for Mother’s Day. Her son, Logan, was also stillborn in August last year. She said: “The grave hasn’t even been there a year and we can’t have a headstone until July to let the ground settle. “I can’t bare the thought of going up there with nothing on it but a little cross as if we don’t care.
“My partner and I went down to take the ‘SON’ away but we just burst into tears. We couldn’t do it.
“The council has no heart.”
Last week the council issued new guidelines regarding the upkeep of the churchyard. Steve Larner, town clerk, stated: “Unfortunately, several families are choosing to put artefacts across the graves, including fences, kerbstones, planted shrubs, beads, stones solar powered lights, toys and even beer cans.
“Some have even dug up the grass that was sown when the grave was levelled. This blocks free access to other graves and makes maintenance more difficult, time consuming and expensive.
“As a result, the Council has decided to remove any items that contravene the cemetery rules as from May 1.”