Widow cries tears of rage at grave mistake

Isabel Nicholson at the graves of her son Scott and husband Alex in Grandsable Cemetery. Picture: Michael Gillen
Isabel Nicholson at the graves of her son Scott and husband Alex in Grandsable Cemetery. Picture: Michael Gillen

A grieving widow wept when she discovered the headstone she had paid to have installed for her late husband was put in the wrong place.

Earlier this year Isabel Nicholson (81), from Redding, employed Camelon firm Heritage Memorials to put the headstone for husband Alex, who died in 2015, at the family plot she had purchased in Polmont’s Grandsable Cemetery.

The headstone was to be in place before October 25 – the day that would have been the couple’s diamond wedding anniversary.

When she heard the stone had been placed earlier than expected she visited the cemetery on Monday and was heartbroken when she discovered the mistake – the headstone had gone in the middle area, between her late son’s grave at lair 473 and where her husband’s headstone should have gone at lair 474.

Isabel, who lost 18-year-old son Scott following a road traffic accident in 1984, said: “I was told years ago there would be nothing placed in between the two lairs. When I saw this had been done I was totally dumbfounded. There is only supposed to be space there for two lairs, not three.”

Isabel said she asked Heritage Memorials why they had put the headstone in the wrong place and they told her they were only carrying out the instructions of Falkirk Council.

She said: “They said they thought it was wrong but they were told on two occasions by Falkirk Council that it was the right place to put it.”

Representatives of the local authority’s bereavement services met with Isabel and her grandson Alexander Richardson (37) at Grandsable Cemetery yesterday (Wednesday).

Isabel said: “They were trying to make out it was a three-lair plot, but there are only the numbers 473 and 474. The said they had no records regarding the lairs at all because it went back to the 1980s.

“But you would think they would have checked with the family first before telling Heritage Memorials where to put it. They said they were going to move the stone to the correct place in the next couple of weeks.”

Great-grandmother Isabel has had to endure a number of tragic incidents in her life, including the death of her son, a ceiling collapse and an electrical fire in her former house in the late 1980s where she was badly burned.

A Falkirk Council spokesman said: “We met with Mrs Nicholson on site and we have all agreed a way forward that will resolve the situation. We have checked our records and we are satisfied there is no error in our dealing with this request.”

The Falkirk Herald contacted Heritage Memorials yesterday and was informed owner Jamie Laird, who was the only one who would know about this issue, was away on holiday for a week.