Disgruntled residents have taken to Facebook to vent their anger over a memorial to a popular Pocklington character being moved from its original location and left amongst rubble outside the town’s cemetery.
The memorial was placed outside the Post Office at Brass Castle Hill in 2011 as a tribute to Alfie Hutchinson, who died in 2010 after a short illness. His death sparked a huge outpouring of tributes, and more than 600 people turned up at his funeral.
In excess of £2,150 was raised in the months that followed, courtesy of local people’s generosity. Most of the money was used to buy a mounted sun dial and placed at Brass Castle Hill, where the Hutchinson family had lived in the town.
But the town council decided the location for the memorial was not right. It was removed and has been left near the entrance to Pocklington Cemetery for several months. There are plans to relocate it to Sherbutt House care home, on Yapham Road, where Alfie used to live.
Facebook fans of the Pocklington Post have expressed their displeasure about the situation.
One Facebook user, Louise Hirst, said: “This memorial was bought in memory of Alfie by his friends in Pocklington and surrounding villages. Whoevers decision it was to move it and dump it amongst rubble outside of the cemetery should be totally ashamed of themselves. It is not only disrespectful to the generosity and love shown to Alfie by the people of Pocklington but shows complete disregard to this wonderful man.” Libby Gibson also joined the online debate. She said: “Alfie deserved better than this his family lived all there lives next door to the Post Office, shame on who allowed this to happen name and shame the person who authorised it.”
Another Facebook fan of the Post, Shelley English, added: “We at Sherbutt House also thought it was permanent outside the Post Office. We have been asked if we could have it in the gardens, which of course we will. I am also shocked to hear it had been left outside the cemetery and will be speaking to the appropriate people to find out what is going on.”
Another Facebook user, Carol Merrison, believes the memorial being left outside the cemetery is “a total lack of respect for the deceased, and total disregard for Alfie.”
Michael Thompson commented on the Post’s Facebook page: “This is not what he would of wanted.”
In response to the comments, town clerk Richard Wood told the Post that a builder has been creating a new foundation for the memorial this week at Sherbutt House, where Alf used to live.
Mr Wood explained: “The memorial had to be moved because it was on the site of the World War One memorial. We had those events to mark the centenary recently. It wasn’t thought to be appropriate to keep it there.
“The town council moved it last year.”
Mayor of Pocklington, councillor Paul West, said: “We spoke to Sherbutt House and asked if it could go in their garden, they said that is fine.
“We appreciate people thought a lot of him. We are in the process of getting it in its final position.”
Simply known to most in the town as Alfie, the local character suffered from learning difficulties and lived under the care of Sherbutt House. However, he was known to wander the town centre streets sparking up conversations with anyone he saw.