Sir.–It is with great distress that I read the article in The Gazette concerning the proposed new burial ground for Basingstoke.
I am now retired but did work for many years as a memorial mason for Spencer and Peyton funeral directors and spent a great deal of time in our current cemetery in Worting Road. I had the privilege of getting to know many of the families who visit regularly to tend loved ones’ graves, some coming to the cemetery on a daily basis.
I could not believe that Basingstoke and Deane Council could even suggest a cemetery at North Waltham. Surely they must realise that a great many of the people attending the cemetery will be of a similar age to myself and not all of them will be lucky enough to enjoy the good health I have?
Do they not realise that there is no regular bus service out to North Waltham? How will people who do not own a car or cannot drive get there to tend a grave?
You cannot always rely on the kindness of family members to take you to the cemetery as many families are fragmented across the country, and sometimes you want to be there on your own.
The actual cost of getting all the way out to North Waltham, a 14-mile round trip, could also be a prohibiting factor on a pension. What on earth is the council thinking?
I sincerely believe that the council has not completely thought this through or taken the feelings of the bereaved and everyday problems into consideration.
–Tom Burton, Oakley Lane, Oakley.