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Gravestone of Leeds’s own Sir Jimmy Savile unveiled

FITTING TRIBUTE: Family at the headstone, from left, Nephew Michael Johnson and partner Bhanu Kapur, nephew Roger Foster, niece Janet Humble and partner Ronald Matthews.

FITTING TRIBUTE: Family at the headstone, from left, Nephew Michael Johnson and partner Bhanu Kapur, nephew Roger Foster, niece Janet Humble and partner Ronald Matthews.

  • by Mark Lavery
 

It is a supersized gravestone to mark the final resting place of a larger than life character.

The six-foot wide triple headstone was yesterday unveiled at Sir Jimmy Savile’s grave in Scarborough’s Woodlands Cemetery.

Sir Jimmy, 84, died last October, but his family had to wait until now to erect the headstone, which bears the epitaph Sir Jimmy wanted: ‘It was good while it lasted.’

His dying wish to be buried at a 45 degree angle – so he could see the sea – meant months had to pass before the ground was firm enough to plant his weighty four-foot tall memorial. There was also further hold-up because of a now discredited claim by Georgina Ray, of Cannock, Staffordshire, to be Sir Jimmy’s daughter - which delayed the inscription.

Yesterday, (Sept 20) Sir Jimmy’s family and friends gathered for the dedication and blessing of the TV presenter’s final resting place.

His nephew, Roger Foster, joked that “Jim had fixed it for the forecast rain to hold off.”

Retired deputy headmaster Mr Foster, 67, from Goole, said: “The headstone will become a tourist attraction.

“Dozens of people have already been coming to look for the grave even though there was no headstone.

“He was just an ordinary bloke from the back streets of Leeds but everyone loved him and wants to pay their respects.

“I dare say soon there will be an ice cream stall and someone selling Jim’ll Fix It badges.”

The ebony black polished granite memorial is made up of a centre panel with a bronze covered crucifix and two side panels turned slightly towards the centre.

A spelling mistake was discovered on the granite memorial after it was put in place.

A potted biography referring to Sir Jimmy as “Chieftan of Lochaber Highland Games” in 18mm gold letters has been etched on one of the 18inch thick slabs.

Funeral Director Robert Morphet has pledged to fix the mistake in the word Chieftan, which should read Chieftain.

Mr Morphet said: “It will be put right – whatever it takes.”

Yesterday’s ceremony was followed by the unveiling of a plaque by Scarborough Civic Society at Sir Jimmy’s flat in the seaside town.

 

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