Friday, August 25, 2006

Public tributes and memorials

Is this fitting?

While I cannot condone the behaviour of those who have vandalised and attempted to destroy the tributes of flowers laid at the spot where David "Noddy" Rice was gunned down, I have to question whether it is right and fitting to have a public memorial in the car park near the Marsden Grotto, South Shields. Surely a more private spot, such as the memorial garden at the crematorium would be more appropriate and secure for the family and friends to leave their tributes.

Mr. Rice was known to police and had a criminal record that included posssesion of, and intent to supply drugs, he was shot by murderous assassins in the car park and as yet no court case looks likely as the police continue their inquiries. As a law abiding citizen of the town, I would prefer that his family remember his death and the anniversary of his birthday in a more private manner, although this may be difficult for them to contemplate so soon after his tragic death.

There are more fitting and worthy memorials in this town that require our attention, also in a state of disrepair, and which ought to receive more publicity, I refer to the memorial and headstone for the grave of William Wouldhave, which has not been seen in St. Hilda's churchyard in the Market Place for many years. There can be no doubt that Wouldhave's work in the field of lifeboats helped put this town on the map in the early days of the industrial revolution.

Perhaps we should ask for donations, - a public subscription fund - to have the headstone repaired and securely mounted in it's rightful position.


Shields Gazette

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