Leeds couple’s devastation over headstone mystery

Christopher and Christine Fisher at the grave of their daughter Stacy Fisher. Picture by Simon Hulme
Christopher and Christine Fisher at the grave of their daughter Stacy Fisher. Picture by Simon Hulme
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Devastated parents have been left without a lasting tribute to their late daughter after buying a headstone from a company which now seems to have vanished.

Christopher Fisher and his ex-wife Christine are desperate for answers after paying £785 to Yorkshire Memorials at Lawnswood Cemetery for a headstone at their daughter Stacy’s grave.

Stacy Fisher

Stacy Fisher

Stacy, 31, died in April of pulmonary hypertension and pneumonia but had suffered health problems throughout her life after being born with a condition called with Triple X syndrome.

Her ashes are buried at Pudsey Cemetery and her family had arranged for Yorkshire Memorials to deliver the headstone on August 29 - but it never arrived.

Mr Fisher, 57, of Pudsey, said: “They were supposed to be there at 12pm. We’d gone there as a family and no-one turned up. I just couldn’t believe it. I went up to Lawnswood Cemetery to see what was going off and there was just this sticker on the window from Leeds City Council saying no-one was to enter the premises.”

The family have been forced to create their own grave site in the meantime, with stone flags and flowers. Mr Fisher said: “We just wanted something we could go to and put some flowers on, on her birthday or Christmas. And now they’ve let us down. It’s been really hard.”

The now empty Yorkshire Memorials at Lawnswood Cemetery

The now empty Yorkshire Memorials at Lawnswood Cemetery

Companies House lists Yorkshire Memorials as having been dissolved in 2009.

On Yorkshire Memorial’s website - which is still up and running - small print states it is “Lawnswood Memorials” trading as “Yorkshire Memorials”.

According to Companies House, Lawnswood Memorials is still active, and information published in the London Gazette shows it changed its registered address and filed its annual return on August 11.

The YEP visited the office at Lawnswood Cemetery but found it empty, with headstones scattered about the yard. An email to the company and phone calls have not been returned.

A notice displayed in the office’s window stated that Leeds City Council, as landlord, took possession of the property on July 23.

A council spokesman said: “We are aware that a number of people have had problems dealing with Yorkshire Memorials and it is extremely disappointing if people having to deal with bereavement are faced with delays and failures when they are trying to arrange for a memorial for their loved one. It is unfortunate that this business has had to move its offices away from Lawnswood Cemetery and while Leeds City Council has every sympathy with its customers, this is really a private matter between the business concerned and its customers and is not something where Leeds City Council is able to intervene.”

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Trading Standards said: “We are making inquiries into complaints we have received.”

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