Mum’s agony as memorial wall to children is destroyed

A MOTHER intending to lay flowers for her two late infants was shocked to find a memorial wall at the funeral directors had been destroyed without relatives being informed.

Catherine Telford said she was devastated that the plaque in memory of her son and daughter, who died more than 20 years ago, appeared to have been thrown out.

Ms Telford, 54, from Granton, one of the parents affected by the baby ashes scandal, said she used to make regular visits to Barclays Funeral Directors in Leith and lay flowers at the wall.

Her son, George, was stillborn in 1993 and cremated at Mortonhall. She was told afterwards that there were no ashes left to scatter, but does now not know whether George’s remains were among those of hundreds of other infants secretly disposed of in the crematorium grounds.

In 1996, Ms Telford suffered another tragedy when daughter Rosie, born prematurely, died after just nine days.

Both George and Rosie were remembered on the same plaque at Barclays’ premises in Taylor Gardens, Leith.

Ms Telford said she had visited there every year on the anniversary of Rosie’s death.

“I was always in without fail to put flowers down. I sat for a wee while to think what she would have been doing now.”

But Barclays has now moved to new premises in nearby Great Junction Street.

Ms Telford hoped the 
memorial wall containing the plaques had been transferred, but discovered instead it had been removed as part of renovations to the old premises.

“For them just to get rid of it is beyond belief. I would have gone along and collected the plaque if I’d been given the chance. But just to throw them out – I’m mortified to think they could do such a thing.”

Her friend, Ashley Polson, 40, from Moredun, whose mother was remembered with a plaque, was also dismayed at the way the wall had been removed.

“I thought it was sad,” she said. “They could have let people know and see if they wanted to take their plaques rather than just bucketing them.”

A spokesman for Barclays said: “The memorial board never belonged to Barclays and was already located at the premises when we began our lease from another funeral business. As the memorial board didn’t belong to us, we didn’t take it with us when we relocated to new premises.”

The Evening News tried to contact the owner of the premises in Taylor Gardens where the wall was located, but without success.

ian.swanson@edinburghnews.com