A DEVASTATED daughter has discovered she was mourning at the wrong plot for 17 years after a mistake by Burnley Crematorium staff.
Catherine Haywood, of Hathaway Fold, Padiham, regularly took flowers and tributes to the spot where she was told her beloved mother Cathy’s ashes were buried.
But when Mrs Haywood came to scatter the ashes of her father Joseph, who was killed in a road accident outside the gates of the crematorium last year, she found her mother was buried elsewhere.
“I was really upset,” she said. “I have been going down for 17 years putting flowers down and paying my respects at the ashes. It turns out we have been going to the wrong spot all these years. The whole family has.
“It feels funny as I have not been going to where she actually was all this time. It has hit me hard.”
She explained that when her mum’s ashes were buried, staff at the Accrington Road-based crematorium showed her to the “spot” where she was placed.
For almost two decades Mrs Haywood and her family have been visiting that spot but the mistake did not come to light until recently.
“We only found out when we were arranging to scatter my father’s ashes after he died last February.
“We were taken to a plot a long way from where we were originally told. We checked it in the records and it was right.
“We don’t know how it could have happened. The man from the crematorium who came down with us couldn’t apologise enough. It was not his fault. It happened a long time ago.”
Fortunately, the error was picked up before her father’s ashes were scattered in the wrong location.
“I cannot imagine if it had gone in the wrong place. It would have been horrible.
“When they are telling people where the ashes are they need to get it right. It has caused a lot of upset again.
“I don’t want to make the council look bad I just want to make people more aware. I want them to make sure they have the right spot. I don’t want them to go through this.”
Burnley Council bereavement manager Cameron Collinge said: “We apologise for any distress this has caused. Because the original information was given so many years ago we can’t know why it’s happened but we’ve done all we can to sort the situation out once we were made aware of the confusion.”