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Kind-hearted locals step in after graves damaged in Wolverhampton

By Liam Keen | Bushbury | News | Published:

The community came out in force to help clean up a Wolverhampton cemetery that suffered from a suspected vandalism attack.

Iain Crump, Leigh Thomas and Ian Evans all helped clean up the site

Ian Evans and his partner Leigh Thomas from Bushbury and Iain Crump from Whitmore Reans were among several volunteers who gave up their time to clean up Bushbury Cemetery and Crematorium on Underhill Lane.

Pictures posted on social media on July 11 showed a suspected overnight attack where plant pots were strewn across gravestones.

Within hours, residents were out helping to clean up the mess that they believe was caused by vandals.

Mr Crump was one of the first on the scene on July 11, and took time out of his day to help clean the gravestones and tidy the area.

'What is wrong with people?'

The 31-year-old said: “I happened to be on social media and saw the post coming in about it and I just thought, what is wrong with people?

“I thought I had to do something and after some positive feedback on Facebook about my idea, I went down.

The cemetery was vandalised earlier this month

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“It got to me that people could behave like that, it’s not nice to see but I saw the opportunity to put something right and spent around three hours there.”

He was followed closely by Mr Evans and Ms Thomas who, along with nearby residents, helped the tidy effort the next day, on July 12.

The pair spent around £80 of their own money buying new plants to replace the damaged ones.

'Nice to give something back'

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Mr Evans, aged 30, said: “We heard that it was vandalised on Facebook and I had some days off work so thought I would help.

"It's only down the road, so I went to Aldi and bought as many flowers as I could and went down to help tidy it up.

“I didn’t spend loads, it was just around £80 and some elbow grease, we got the marigolds on and tidied up, it took us around three or four hours.

Flower pots were knocked over. Photo: Donna Lowe

“We were helped by other people too who saw it on Facebook and came down, and Iain did so much to help before we even got there.

"We just wanted to help out, it’s nice to give something back.”

'No doubt it was vandals'

West Midlands Police released a statement following the incident to say that they were increasing patrols in the area but concluded that “it may be that the wildlife, or weather, is the cause of the issue.”

These residents, however, believe there was “no chance” that it wasn’t vandals.

Mr Crump added: “Having been there cleaning up when it was raining and windy, and nothing moved, there’s no doubt for me that it was vandalism and not the weather.

"It was large scale in the same area, not scattered about.

"You don't want to think that people can do it, it's horrible, it's just wrong."

Mr Evans said: “There’s no chance it wasn’t vandalism, it was pure destruction.

“Most of the pots were embedded into the grave stones and you have to physically pull them out, it was like a bomb hit them.”

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Sports Reporter - @LiamKeen_Star

Sports journalist at the Express & Star, primarily covering Walsall FC and grassroots sport across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319456.

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