Grieving pensioner charged £160 for 'staying too long' at wife's grave

Frank Blades was charged for staying 'too long' at the end of his wife's burial Credit: SWNS

A grieving husband has been slapped with a £160 bill for "staying too long" at his wife's grave following her burial.

Widower Frank Blades spent an extra 20 minutes at the end of the ceremony in the Nottinghamshire cemetery, standing beside the spot where his wife Violet had been laid to rest before visiting other relatives buried in the same ground.

But when he received the bill from Hopkinsons Funeral Directors, the £6,000 fee was topped up by an unexpected extra £160 charge.

Mr Blades, aged 71, of Worksop, said he had not felt ready to leave immediately after the service, and had been told there was "no rush".

He said he "didn't have the energy" to challenge the fee so soon after Violet had passed away, just months after being diagnosed with cancer, and paid it.

But now he said he wants to warn other families in mourning.

Bassetlaw District Council, which runs the Hannah Park Cemetery, confirmed it had imposed the charge as the funeral party had arrived 45 minutes after their scheduled time - but said it had been Hopkinsons Funeral Directors, not the family, that should have paid the bill.

Violet Blades passed away following a short battle with cancer Credit: SWNS

The council's head of neighbourhoods, Liz Prime, said she was "surprised" that this had been passed on to the Blades family.

She added that the charge was imposed on funeral directors as part of work to ensure no two burials took place at the same time, out of respect for grieving families.

A spokesman for Hopkinsons Funeral Directors said: