Widow’s anger after memorial goes missing

Friends and neighbours with the memorial plaque to Alan Hankinson EW_4bIeL8S2w6G9AsNq4
Friends and neighbours with the memorial plaque to Alan Hankinson EW_4bIeL8S2w6G9AsNq4

A grieving widow has expressed her ‘devastation’ following the theft of a memorial plaque to her late husband.

The memorial has been removed from the grass verge that Alan Hankinson devoted years maintaining outside his Addlethorpe home.

The wooden board, with the inscription ‘Alan’s Place’, was made in his honour by friends and neighbours on St Nicholas Close.

It went missing on Friday, just weeks after being erected.

Discovering the plaque had disappeared has caused distress to his widow Laraine.

A former professional musician, Alan passed away in February from cancer of the oesophagus aged 67.

Laraine said: “I am devastated the plaque has gone. It has been hard enough to cope with losing him, but to have someone do this is dreadful.

“What can they get out of this? It is a completely senseless thing to do. It is just heartless.”

Six neighbours contributed to making the plaque and placed it where Alan was a familiar sight cutting grass and planting flowers on the previously unkempt verge.

Laraine added: “Alan would mow the grass every week and our neighbour Ronnie planted flowers there.

“He made her husband Tom promise to keep looking after it when he was gone. He was very community spirited and a really good person.

“I feel upset for our friends who made the plaque, everyone is disgusted it has gone. I want the person who took it to realise the hurt that has been caused.”

A dad of two, Alan played with famous names including Gene Pitney, Del Shannon and Martha Reeves and Vandellas during a successful musical career.

A talented bass player he hosted popular open mic nights and had his own band called Masters of Soul.

Police had not been notified of the incident at the time the Standard went to press.