Dozens of memorials in Rother Valley cemetery have failed safety tests

Almost 200 memorials in a Rother Valley cemetery have failed safety tests following a month-long audit.

By Danielle Andrews, Local Democracy Reporter
Saturday, 4th September 2021, 9:06 am

Memorials in eight cemeteries across the Rotherham borough were tested between March and April, and 810 failed, including 195 in Maltby.

In order to protect the safety of visitors and staff, a warning notice is placed on the memorial immediately to “warn visitors the memorial is unsafe and not to touch,” according to the council.

Temporary supports may also be places on memorials, and in some cases, headstones may be laid flat to alleviate any risk of injury.

Dozens of memorials in Maltby Cemetery have been found to be unsafe.

A council spokesperson said: “If we believe a headstone is at risk of falling over, we will make it temporarily safe at no cost to the grave owner using materials that will not damage the memorial.

“Ensuring cemeteries are a safe place for visitors is an essential part of our role and a legal obligation requires us to carry out headstone inspections every five years. We began testing in Rotherham last year but were unable to complete this prior the latest lockdown and have only recently been able to resume this important work.

“Where we identify a safety risk with a headstone, we advise the owners of the grave to contact an independent, registered stonemason.

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“Their stonemason will be able to advise on the work required to make the headstone safe. Neither The Crematorium and Memorial Group or Rotherham Council benefit financially from the safety testing process or any work that is required.”

Number of “unsafe” memorial in each cemetery

East Herringthorpe 188Greasbrough Town Lane 43Greasbrough Lane 86Haugh Road 57Maltby 195Masbrough 47Moorgate 21Wath 173