Angry mourners faced with locked cemetery gates

VISITORS to Daventry’s cemetery had to break their way in on Christmas Day after discovering the gates were locked.

A crowd of people were waiting to get into DDC’s Welton Road Cemetery on Christmas morning to visit the graves of relatives and friends. But the gates, both the car and pedestrian ones, were locked.

Janice Prior, from Daventry, was one of those waiting to get inside. She said: “We drove up there at around 9.30am and saw the gates were locked and a couple of cars were waiting, so we went on to visit other people. We just thought the gates were going to be opened a bit later in the morning at 10am.

“We came back about an hour later and it was still locked.

“By that time there were 12 to 15 cars of people waiting. They were parked up Welton Road and on nearby roads.

“Christmas is a time of thinking of loved ones lost. A trip to the cemetery on Christmas Day is for a lot of people a way of remembering those husbands, sons, wives, daughters, brothers, sisters and others dear. But not if you’re locked out of the place of rest your loved ones inhabit. It’s insensitive, disgraceful and just very wrong.

“In the end two people from the crowd forced the lock on the gate – and thank God they did! A big cheer went up.

“I wanted to visit my brother and grandfather’s graves and some friends as well. I don’t like graveyards, but I always try and go on Christmas Day.

“Normally the Welton Road Cemetery is open on Christmas Day. I know people need time off to see their own families but it wouldn’t take long for someone to open it and go back later and lock up.”

Simon Bovey, deputy chief executive at Daventry District Council said: “We are currently investigating this incident with our contractor Enterprise but we can confirm that the cemetery was opened on Christmas Day.”