Sheffield mum’s ashes dumped in ‘ditch’

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A grieving daughter was left distraught after discovering her mother’s final resting place was ‘down a ditch’.

When Elaine Clarke, aged 65, lost her mother Nellie Johnson she asked for her ashes to be scattered in the garden of remembrance at Grenoside Crematorium in Sheffield.

But when she was finally able to visit the spot, Elaine found the gardens were an overgrown mess at the bottom of a hill.

A huge heap of ashes lay in front of four stones marked Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

It was so hard to access that she could not lay the bunch of flowers she and daughter Sarah Allen had taken.

And what should have been a poignant occasion left Elaine outraged. She complained to the crematorium manager, who blamed funeral directors.

Elaine, of Hillsborough, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. When I was organising the funeral I couldn’t bring myself to scatter her ashes, so I just asked for the garden of remembrance. The rest of the crematorium is beautiful so I thought she’d be in a rose garden.

“It was so shocking to see it was down a ditch I couldn’t even get to. I was so upset. The manager said the funeral director should have told me that’s where it was, but I don’t think anyone would want to scatter ashes there.

“I know it’s too late for me now, but I don’t want it to happen to other families.”

Grenoside Crematorium is run by national company the Co-operative. The firm has promised to look into improvements to make the gardens more pleasant.

A spokeswoman said: “We apologise the family was unhappy with the appearance. We are concerned about the issues raised and would be keen to meet with the family to hear their suggestions, as we are looking to make changes.

“The garden is maintained weekly. However, in winter months this can become difficult due to weather.”