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Heptonstall Fete

From Dave R

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Last weekend there was a summer fete/community fun day in Heptonstall. Apparently it was a great event and much fun was had by all.

However, for a few, the whole event left a sour taste. This was due to the fact that the children's races were held in the new graveyard. Children being children, they didn't seem to understand that they could have an egg and spoon race alongside the graves but, that it wasn't a good idea to climb on the headstones, jump across the graves and play tag amongst the headstones.

How do we know this? Because a young man who went to pay his respects to a family member buried there saw it. He saw parents ignoring their kids whilst they ran amok. 

The family posted their distress via social media and an apology was issued, via social media. 

Apparently someone decided that because the venue they had wished to use wasn't available, they would use the graveyard!

The responses from villagers varied from a "kids will be kids" to "I wouldn't mind someone dancing on my grave". Comments in bad taste were posted accusing the distressed families of not being without sin etc. 

Having family resting there, I too expressed my sorrow, politely and concisely. I was immediately blocked by one of the admin team who was one of the perpetrators of such blasé comments.

I am writing to Calderdale Council to ask why such an event was allowed to take place in a place of rest. I am appalled and saddened at the complete lack of sympathy from the residents. But I am more appalled that they refused to let people have their say in such an emotive matter. 
My point in posting here, is that given I am 'barred' from their social media page, and I wish I had saved my comments in order to prove my integrity in this matter, I wonder if anyone has heard whether this was actually permitted by the council or not? 

From Zilla Brown

Monday, 5 June 2017

Can I just express my sympathies with the post about this?

I think perhaps no one else might answer so wanted to show some support for Dave( and the families affected) . 

I have no connection with  the graveyard at Heptonstall (and perhaps this is the cause of the lack of sympathy from current residents) - but do have a group of relatives buried elsewhere in the area.I would be really unhappy if this were to happen there.

I certainly agree it is not appropriate to use a graveyard in this way. Primarily  I would ask  has respect gone out of fashion -and apart from anything else some of the monuments can be fragile or unstable regarding  H and S? Would it be OK to run over Syvia Plath's grave?

According to Dave's post some of the comments that seem  to have been made on social media sound  callous and insensitive to say the least.

Personally I try to avoid even stepping on a gravestone when visiting a church yard but perhaps those scruples are classed as outdated now when the demands of the newer generations expect  to be met at the price of respect for others who have gone before.

From Andy M

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The incident was discussed at length on the Heptonstall 
community website. Apologies were made and the unsuitability of the venue for future events recognised (it was not the original choice). The thread was then ended by the moderators.

Whilst it is regrettable that people were understandably offended,  kids were not generally 'running amok' and the majority of the event was good humoured and enjoyable

Time to move on I think. 

From Dave R

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Thanks for that Zilla, your empathy is appreciated.

There was no intent to deflect from the enjoyment of many.

I have however contacted Calderdale Council and the Church to express my feelings and would hope that they adhere to the 'it won't happen again' response too.

Meanwhile of course there are far more important things going on in the world to worry about. 

From Vikki Uttley

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

How good to see this issue resolved with measured responses and kindness from both sides, no mockery, nastiness and name calling needed to resolve the upset.