Wednesday 23 March 2022

Shiregreen Cemetery Sheffield - March 2022

It has been widely reported in the media that Shiregreen Cemetery now has the largest headstone in the United Kingdom and has attracted world wide interest. It is the grave of Willy Collins and was erected by the family and many friends of the deceased.

It used over 37 tons of Italian marble and is reputed to have cost in excess of £200,000. 

When I first read the story I was amazed and bewildered. The cemetery is owned and administered by Sheffield City Council who have traditionally imposed strict guidelines on what is and what is not allowed in the 16 municipal cemeteries they control. In fact one of the first blogs I posted was in relation to the Wooden Crosses of Burngreave Cemetery 1930 which even today still leaves an unsavoury taste in the mouth. And since then there has been a constant stream of stories of Sheffield City Council imposing harsh and in many cases unnecessary regulation on the bereaved families.

Shiregreen Cemetery Sheffield

But all was revealed when Sheffield City Council announced that the family of Willy Collins had not approached them to ask for permission to erect such a grand memorial. The memorial contravened their regulations in every respect. At the time of writing Bereavement Services at the Council were looking into the matter and had summoned the relatives of the late Willy Collins for a meeting to discuss matters arising for want of a better term.

There is speculation in the press that thw whole memorial will have to be demolished and one erected that complies with the Council's stict rules. But that is just speculation.

The wider point is that Sheffield City Council claims to be ignorant of the erection of the memorial. It must have taken days if not weeks to erect such a grand memorial which seems to indicate that the Council do not know what is going on in their cemeteries. Bereavement Services proudly claim that they are responsible for Shiregreen Cemetery and so it is the Council who should ensure that their regulations are enforced. It appears not for the first time that the Council have been negligent in fullfilling their responsibilities to the people of Sheffield



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