Woman 'disgusted' after being stopped from paying respects at Sheffield cemetery

Thelma Bromley, of Essex, was disgusted to find Loxley Old Church blocked to the public on her annual visit.
Thelma Bromley, of Essex, was disgusted to find Loxley Old Church blocked to the public on her annual visit.
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A woman who visits Sheffield once a year to pay respects to her grandparents says she is 'disgusted' after finding their graves blocked to the public.

Thelma Bromley drives from her home in Essex to Sheffield every Remembrance Sunday to put flowers on the graves of her veteran grandfather and her grandmother, who are buried at Loxley Old Church.

But this year Thelma said she was shocked to find the cemetery blocked to the public, meaning she was unable to pay her respects - despite driving for three hours.

Thelma, aged 64, said: "I was absolutely disgusted to find the cemetery blocked by 10-foot high metal fencing, meaning i couldn't get in.

"After driving all that way, I ended up throwing my flowers at this fencing and leaving. The state of the cemetery and chapel was horrendous too, so overgrown and unkempt."

Thelma's grandparents Mark and Hattie Parker, who were both born and raised in Sheffield, are buried in the cemetery alongside their three infant children.

Her grandfather fought in World War One and died in 1949, aged 58.

Thelma said: "It was Remembrance Sunday, a day when people honour fallen heroes.

"All I wanted to do was put some flowers on my grandparents' graves. My grandfather fought in World War One and I always like to pay my respects at this time of year.

"I am so sad and upset that I couldn't do that this year.

"Something really needs to be done about the shocking state of the cemetery. There are lots of other war heroes buried there, not to mention people who died in the floods."

Last month Historic England published a report into the church, which sets out a series of recommendations to ensure the Grade II-listed building remains structurally sound.

Despite the church building being ravaged by fire in August, engineers concluded there were ‘no concerns over the immediate stability’ of the remaining walls.

Campaigners have been calling for the chapel and cemetery to be improved for many years.

The building is not owned by Sheffield Council. The current owners were not able to be contacted.