‘Nightmare’ of Leeds funeral power cut

Grieving sisters Jean McSurley (left) and Linda Lynch want answers. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Grieving sisters Jean McSurley (left) and Linda Lynch want answers. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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A Grieving family have spoken of their fury as they face paying an £800 council bill –despite a power failure at Rawdon Crematorium on the day of their mother’s funeral.

Linda Lynch, 51, and Jean McSorley, 49, from Yeadon, said the day became an “absolute nightmare” after they were told there was no electricity at the crematorium. They were forced to find a portable battery operated CD player to play the great-grandmother’s favourite songs and operate it themselves.

They were given a bill from the local authority for £809 and fear other families could be affected because they claim the power was out that day until 9.30pm on April 12.

Mrs Lynch, who works as an intelligence officer at Bradford Council, said: “It was all just an absolute nightmare with all that happening when you are going to your own mother’s funeral.

“Because she had been ill for so long she gave us instructions as to exactly how she wanted it to be. It was more upsetting because we couldn’t do what she wanted. It was just awful. My sister was heartbroken.”

Mrs Lynch added: “I don’t want to pay the bill and I don’t think I should. I think it is terrible because we didn’t get the service we wanted.”

A Leeds City Council spokesman said eight cremations were carried out at Rawdon Crematorium on April 12. The spokesman added: “Leeds City Council sympathises with and understands the issues raised by grieving families following the impact of the unfortunate power failure in the Rawdon area.” He said the bereavement service contacted funeral directors to give families the opportunity to “decide whether or not they still wished to proceed”.