Update to Merthyr Dyfan Cemetery Memorial Headstone Inspections

Last year saw Barry Town Council begin an ongoing memorial inspection programme, in accordance with Management of Memorials UK health and safety legislation, to inspect the condition of all memorial headstones that are currently placed on the graves within Merthyr Dyfan Cemetery and other cemeteries located across Barry.

This is part of a UK-wide memorial inspection that has Penarth Town Council carrying out the same level of ongoing memorial headstone inspection at cemeteries in Penarth.

The government’s aim is to significantly reduce the risk of harm to cemetery staff and the visiting public following several injuries and deaths due to unsafe and deteriorating memorial headstones in recent years.

Learn: Find Out More About Merthyr Dyfan Cemetery & Penarth Cemetery

Headstones Being Inspected Across Barry & Penarth Cemeteries for Safety Purposes

The headstones are being inspected for safety purposes, with many unsafe memorials in the first instance being “staked and banded” by the Council Memorial Inspector.

Staking and banding a memorial headstone involves a wooden stake being banded to the rear face of the memorial with the use of nylon strapping.

Due to this being part of a programme that was introduced by government legislation, it’s an offence for any of these bands to be removed by anyone other than the memorial inspector or a memorial mason that is engaged to carry out memorial restoration or memorial maintenance repairs on behalf of the grave owners.

Old memorial headstones in a cemetery

Where staking and banding the memorial in a safe manner isn’t feasible, the memorial is instead  laid flat or lowered into an excavated area at the head of the grave in front of the memorial base.

This allows some or all of the inscription to remain clearly visible while removing the risk of injury or damage should the headstone work loose and topple.

Once a measure has been taken to ensure unsafe memorials are once again safe, the Council are making every attempt to contact the grave deed holder or next of kin so that they aware of the measures that have been put in place and can work towards professionally repairing or replacing the memorial if they should wish to do so.

Memorials Are Responsibility of Grave Owner

Barry Town Council highlights the fact that memorials are the responsibility of the grave owner, and though memorials erected since November 2001 should not be affected so long as they were installed to the current NAMM and BRAMM memorial installation standards, it’s still imperative for all grave owners to rectify any issues with the memorial if they could be deemed as a danger to cemetery staff and the visiting public.

If you have any concerns with the safety of your memorial, please do contact the cemetery office or a local reputable memorial stonemason who will be able to offer expert advice.

Old deteriorated memorial headstones that are damaged and have toppled over in cemetery grounds

Here at Wilson Morgan Memorial Masons, we have been proudly supplying families across Penarth and the Vale of Glamorgan with memorials to help remember and honour the life of a loved one since 1904. To discuss your memorial needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our compassionate team of family advisors so that we can create a memorial that is truly fitting for your loved one. Call us on 02920 704949, e-mail info@wilsonmorgan.com or complete our simple online contact form.

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