West Grinstead says not in our back garden

Charles Cowling

 

A little over a week ago we glanced at a growing furore in Sussex over a proposed new crematorium. Here’s the latest news from the front line:

More than once West Grinstead residents were told to ‘be civil’ as they grasped with open arms an opportunity to voice their opinions.

Patrick and Matthew Gallagher, of the funeral director and crematorium applicant Peacebound Ltd, and architect and surveyor Douglas J P Edwards, were laughed at and taunted as they attempted to explain to residents what the benefits of a new crematorium would be for their village.

An hour and a half of fiery debate between the passionate army of residents and the three crematorium applicants ended on a sombre note when one resident asked to have the final word.

He said: “We have had questions thrown back at us and we have been condescended to. I do not appreciate the way we have been spoken to.”

Mr Edwards explained to residents that much of the countryside would be protected if the proposed site were to go ahead but lost the interest of the group when he said that ‘pitifully few people actually went onto the site’.

To which residents called: “We live there, we know the site!” and ”We don’t want to go following you there.”

At the end of the meeting, when it was made clear to Patrick Gallagher that most residents had not warmed to his point of view, he made one last effort to end on good terms.

“I did not mean to offend anyone. My most sincere apologies I did not mean to do that …  I have tried to be as open and accessible as possible and I really do want to continue in that vein. I believe it’s a good development for local people … I do believe it will be a wonderful legacy to be left by members of West Grinstead and Horsham.”

To this comment the crowd laughed and one resident asked: “Would you like one in your back garden?”

Source 

ED’S NOTE: Highly embarrassing for Patrick Gallagher, a pillar of the industry, who owns two nearby funeral homes. Difficult not to feel for him?

 

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Ru Callender
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Poor man. I’ve faced an angry crowd at a public meeting, when I spoke out in favour of a natural burial site. Their fury was disproportionate to the proposed development. What Larkin called ‘furnace fear.’

Nick Gandon
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People are mighty sensitive about all things funereal. It’s often so difficult to gauge where that fine line rests.