Grave flooded on anniversary of daughter's death

YET more flooding at Hucknall Cemetery has made a sad time of the year even more distressing for a charity worker.

Carol Ridley-Barker's 20-year-old daughter, Karen Bridge, died in a fire at their home in Long Hill Rise 19 years ago.

But on the anniversary of the tragedy, Karen's grave at the Broomhill Road cemetery was under water after torrential rain.

"i feel absolutely heartbroken," said Carol (62), who is well known as a leading fundraiser with Nottingham Aid For Bosnia and other charities.

She added: "I bought four plots in the cemetery but not until two weeks after Karen was buried there did I find out from a workman that it is a bad area for flooding.

"I want to be buried next to my daughter when I die but the thought of it fills me with despair.

"The water kills any plants I provide for the grave and these have included six dozen pansies."

Some graves in the same part of the cemetery were still flooded this week, including that of tragic three-year-old Hucknall girl Leanne White, who was murdered in November 1992.

Now angry and upset families have stepped up their long-standing campaign for Ashfield District Council to take action to combat flooding at the cemetery.

Albert White, chairman of Hucknall's Welbeck Tenants and Residents Association, has campaigned for about nine years.

He contacted Couns Dave Shaw (Lab), John Wilmott (Lab) and Robert Rankin (Con), who are Hucknall members of the council, as well as a leading council officer and Hucknall Labour MP Paddy Tipping.

And his efforts led to the council starting work on Tuesday to tackle the problem.

A council spokeswoman said a very wet November had meant flooding of numerous green sites in Ashfield.

She pointed out that the cemetery had a high water-table, which was compounded by water from the cricket field on the adjoining Titchfield Park.

A trench is now being dug to catch water from the field, and the work is scheduled to be finished by this weekend.

Mr White stressed: "This problem must be looked at and put right once and for all. I think the council deserve a lot of credit for their very prompt action."

Mr Tipping said he too raised the matter with the council and was pleased they were taking immediate action in an attempt to resolve the difficulties.

Carol said she would be watching closely to see if there was an improvement.

If not, she is planning to take her fight to levels as high as Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the European Court of Human Rights.