A man who was left “heartbroken” after his late wife’s memorial was vandalised repeatedly at a St Neots cemetery is hoping the offer of a £1,000 reward will help find the culprits.
Bob Wicks, from Eaton Socon, built a memorial shelter and footpath in memory of his wife Gloria, who died in 2015, using £25,000 of his own money, at the cemetery, off Little End Road. It has been vandalised several times and rubbish has been left strewn around, but after an outpouring of community spirit, CCTV cameras will now be placed at the site.
Within 48 hours of hearing the story, Black Cat Radio Presenter Ste Greenall along with St Neots mayor, Cllr Stephen Ferguson and other members of the town council visited Bob at the memorial and offered to help.
In an interview with Ste on Black Cat, Bob said he has been overwhelmed by the public’s support and response.
“I would like to thank the community for all the support they have shown, 200 people at least have shown their support and I am so grateful.”
Cllr Ferguson, said: “There has been a happy resolution to the Bob Wicks story. Matt Ferris of Citadel Security Services has confirmed that he will supply a CCTV camera and signage free of charge to put up at the memorial.
“Bripat Engineering Ltd have also now donated a five-and-a-half-metre painted pole, free of charge, in order to guard the memorial. They are also going to fix this to the entrance gate for free too.
“Colin Crane from Urban & Rural Landscapes has also agreed to remove two dying Ash trees at a reduced rate, from the cemetery.
“Also Roxton Garden Centre has supplied some new plants and flowers for the memorial to replace the ones that were damaged.
“We are so pleased for Bob.”
Bob met Gloria when they were 16. They were married for more than 50 years.
He said; “I can’t believe how my own community has rallied around. Ste was the first person who has given me any help with what I have gone through. In the last few months, my plants have been strewn around, the fence set on fire, pots smashed and litter thrown everywhere.”
Cllr Ferguson said “It was lovely to hear the story about how Bob and Gloria and met and Bob told me he goes to the cemetery every day to be with her. It’s such a wonderful love story. As a council, we didn’t do much other than show our support - it was all down to Ste and the St Neots Facebook community group. I have said before that the Hunts Post, Black Cat Radio and the Facebook group are at the heart of our town.”
Mr Wicks said that since the radio broadcast, nearly 200 people have made direct contact with him. And whilst Ste Greenall has pledged to ensure that the promises made to Bob are turned into action, Bob is now hoping a direct appeal through the Hunts Post will help to identify the culprits.
If you have any information about who is responsible for the damage, contact Cambridgeshire police on 101 pass details to: firstname.lastname@example.org.