Loving couple finally place headstone at daughter’s grave after long battle

Keith and Emma Hampson with their Daughters headstone which was originally rejected by the council
Keith and Emma Hampson with their Daughters headstone which was originally rejected by the council
1
Have your say

A loving couple have finally placed a headstone at their daughter’s grave after the initial design was rejected earlier this year.

Keith and Emma Hampson wanted to have the Disney character ‘Eeyore’ on the headstone but Harworth and Bircotes Town Council turned down the plans in February.

Emma and Keith Hampson are pleased the council have agreed to the design of headstone they wanted to erect in memory of their daughter Evelyn

Emma and Keith Hampson are pleased the council have agreed to the design of headstone they wanted to erect in memory of their daughter Evelyn

However, following a public backlash which resulted in a petition receiving more than 2,00 signatures in just 24 hours, the decision was reversed.

It was put in place last week after being brought over from China and the family told the Guardian they visit most days.

“It is a shame that we had to fight for it at a time in our lives when we wanted to grieve a little bit,” Keith said.

“I am just pleased that we managed to get the decision reversed.

Emma and Keith Hampson are pleased the council have agreed to the design of headstone they wanted to erect in memory of their daughter Evelyn, the couple are pictured with daughter Scarlett, four

Emma and Keith Hampson are pleased the council have agreed to the design of headstone they wanted to erect in memory of their daughter Evelyn, the couple are pictured with daughter Scarlett, four

“We have always liked Disney and we wanted something that would represent a child.

“I did not want a black and morbid headstone. We wanted something a bit more child friendly. We wanted it to be a celebration area rather than a place where we go to be upset.”

Keith and Emma received the devastating news that their daughter, Evelyn Barbara, had no heartbeat and had died on January 23 when Emma was 37-weeks pregnant.

Three days later, Evelyn was born at Bassetlaw Hospital and Keith and Emma were able to spend the next 48 hours with her before laying her to rest at Harworth Cemetery.

The couple, of Crewe Road, Bircotes, who also have another daughter called Scarlett, designed her headstone at Doncaster Memorials, but the council rejected the design due to the ‘bright blue stonework’ and ‘coloured lettering’.

After several discussions, Keith and his wife met the council once again but a negative comment about the design reduced Emma to tears.

They received the news their plans for their daughter’s headstone had been approved in March after another council meeting.

The family have now decided to do something special in Evelyn’s memory by raising funds so that a bereavement room can be set-up at Bassetlaw Hospital for stillborn babies.

“We wanted to do something positive,” Keith said.

“We got a lot of support from the public who got behind us, we are really pleased about that.

“We would like to thank councillor Dave Challinor and his wife Denise for the help with fundraising events and the support they have given us over the last few months.

Keith added: “There are a lot of people that do suffer in silence.

“We are coping alright. We have our bad days but they can be expected.”

Earlier this year a spokesman for Harworth and Bircotes Town Council said that upon receiving the application from the monumental stonemasons, it was considered such an ‘unusual design’ that it had to be referred to the council for consideration.

“Council initially felt that the monument was not in keeping with the headstones already in the cemetery, for a number of reasons including the bright blue stonework and coloured lettering,” the spokesman said.

“As part of the decision making process the town council consulted with three other Nottinghamshire town council’s, all of whom confirmed that the design of the headstone would not be acceptable to their burial authorities.

“We appreciate that this has been a very difficult time for the Hampson family and hope that now this issue has been resolved, the family can continue to come to terms with their loss,” the spokesman added.#

The next charity day organised by the couple is ‘An Evening at the Frogs’ on Saturday, October 17 at The Welfare Hall, on Whitehouse Road, Bircotes. The event will include lots of fun and games, face painting and a raffle. Tickets are priced £2.50 for adults and £1.50 for children (under 16 who must be with an adult). Price of ticket also includes a hot dog. Doors open at 3.30pm. For more information call Keith and Emma on 07588 781 940.

Visit Keith and Emma’s JustGiving page at https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/keith-hampson.