More than 60 headstones are laid down in Cromer cemetery amid safety fears

Dozens of headstones have been turned over in a north Norfolk cemetery after experts ruled that it would be unsafe to leave them standing.

Now Cromer Town Council is trying to contact the families of the people whose graves are marked by the memorials, to give them a chance to pay for repairs.

The problems emerged two weeks ago, when the council paid for the obligatory five-yearly inspection of the cemetery at Holt Road.

Janet Warner, deputy town clerk, said: 'The inspection was carried out by memorial masons, who tested each headstone to see if it could withstand a certain amount of pressure.

'Unfortunately, they found more than 60 that were unsafe. They've had to be laid flat. We would like to reassure the families concerned that the inspection was undertaken in a professional manner by masons fully trained in memorial inspections.'

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She added that the memorials remained the property of families, and said: 'The town council has a duty to ensure the safety of visitors and workers, but not to maintain the memorials.'

Since 2001, the council has kept a database of contact details of those who have arranged for the memorials to be set up. But Mrs Warner said many of the stones that had been laid flat dated to before that record keeping.

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She said: 'Those who we've got details for, we've been contacting. But if anybody goes to the cemetery and finds the memorial they are visiting is down, they should contact us on 01263 512254.'

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