Saturday, June 16, 2012

Memorial plaque to shootings victims erected under cannon 'in bad taste'

A row has broken out after a plaque to remember the victims of the west Cumbria shootings was placed underneath a cannon. The £1,000 commemorative plaque was put up in memory of the 12 innocent people gunman Derrick Bird killed during his shooting spree on June 2, 2010. It also remembers those who were injured and affected by the event.

But villager Brenda Parsons is annoyed that it has been done so “distastefully” and “without compassion.” “We think it is horrendous,” said Mrs Parsons, 74. “Not only the wording, which sounds like it’s celebrating the shootings, but by the plaque being put underneath a cannon. It just absolutely beggars belief.” Her South Parade house overlooks the historic castle where the plaque has been positioned. She is upset as she said she doesn’t want a constant reminder of the pain the village went through during that time.

“The community of Seascale was deeply traumatised by what happened and they just want to forget. There has been trees planted and seats donated to remember the victims – surely that’s enough. With the plaque saying West Cumbria Shootings in large letters, it’s as if it was an event to be proud of. We just think it’s in such bad taste.” The plaque was organised by Seascale Community Day Committee, which was set up immediately after the shootings to help the village move forward. Councillor David Moore of the committee has hit back at Mrs Parsons’ claims, strongly defending the committee’s decision.

He said that the families of the victims, as well as victims themselves, were heavily consulted and all of them supported the idea. “They all said they wanted simple wording. This was taken forward with the families’ support and they are delighted with it – we wouldn’t have done it without their support.” Days after the shootings the castle became a focal point for villagers as they came to terms with their grief. Memorial services were held there which were descended on by the world’s media and Mr Moore said that is why the location was pinpointed for the location of the plaque.

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