Mum distraught after council reveal it will pull down still-born son’s memorial plaque

Lisa Douthwaite with son Matthew and daughter Lily beside their brother Jack's memorial plaque at Longridge Road Crematorium.
Lisa Douthwaite with son Matthew and daughter Lily beside their brother Jack's memorial plaque at Longridge Road Crematorium.

A mum says she is distraught after the council revealed it will be pulling down a memorial plaque to her still-born son.

Lisa Douthwaite’s son Jack was born full term but not breathing in October 2005 and the family erected the plaque in his “living memory”.

Lisa Douthwaite with son Matthew and daughter Lily beside their brother Jack's memorial plaque at Longridge Road Crematorium.

Lisa Douthwaite with son Matthew and daughter Lily beside their brother Jack's memorial plaque at Longridge Road Crematorium.

The 38-year-old, her two children Lilly, eight, and Matthew, 10, and partner Stuart Whalley, visit Jack’s resting place almost every week at Longridge Road Crematorium near Grimsargh.

But now Preston Council, which owns the cemetery, has told the Bamber Bridge property consultant the plaque will be one of dozens removed when the lease runs out in 2026.

“I don’t understand it, I’m devastated,” she said. “We have always considered Jack still part of the family and the children always love going to see their brother.

“I can’t understand why they would get rid of it because it costs them nothing. I could understand if the trees were going but they’re not.”

Lisa’s sister Tracy died last year and she is adding another plaque to the memorial.

She said: “It’s an important place for us to go and reflect and to think they won’t be there anymore really hurts.

“They’ll always be part of our family and I want my children to be able to visit the memorial for the rest of their lives.”

A Preston Council spokesman said: “We appreciate memorials are an important part of the bereavement process. Following an in-depth review, all living memorial leases will not be renewed due to operational reasons and to ensure continuous careful management of the grounds. The trees themselves will remain in place.

“There are other stone memorial options available, which we are already discussing with those affected.”