Bad weather damages cemetery
by Alex Wellman Graves are sinking and becoming a boggy mess in one of the borough s cemeteries after foul weather played havoc with the ground. Mourners at a section of graves in Paddington Cemetery in Willesden Lane, Kilburn, have to ne
by Alex Wellman
Graves are sinking and becoming a boggy mess in one of the borough's cemeteries after foul weather played havoc with the ground.
Mourners at a section of graves in Paddington Cemetery in Willesden Lane, Kilburn, have to negotiate filthy marshland in section 3B of the graveyard after unseasonal weather turned the site into a quagmire.
One man who buried his wife in the section two years ago said that he had seen some graves drop almost two and a half feet.
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Daniel Casey, 76, from Harlesden, who buried his wife Jane in March 2007, said: "It used to be lovely there but recently it has gone to hell. It's really rough there.
"It can be very upsetting to go there. I see some graves caving in, in the middle.
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"I have to wear shopping bags on my shoes when I go as I have to catch a few buses and don't want to be filthy travelling."
Audie Delaney, 69, of Coverdale Road, Willesden, who has a friend buried there, said: "It's just not on at all. No-one should have to suffer like this when paying respects to a loved one.
"If Burke and Hare were still around today they would have a field day as they'd just have to stick their arm down and pull up a fortune."
Brent Council said that new graves sinking was a normal occurrence but admitted the recent weather had accelerated the process.
"The council would like to reassure bereaved relatives that we are doing everything possible to deal with the effects of the bad weather but settlement of the ground following a burial is normal and takes roughly one year depending on weather conditions.
"After the wet summer, autumn and winter, and then the heavy snow, parks, cemeteries and verges are particularly muddy.
"The earth over new graves is settling faster this year due to the wet weather, resulting in a dip in the ground. Brent Council is taking steps to have graves levelled off regularly by allocating extra staff where necessary.
"There are unavoidable muddy conditions at present and until the earth has a chance to recover, visitors to our cemeteries and parks may wish to consider appropriate footwear for wet ground."