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  • THE MYSTERY OF THE ABANDONED HEADSTONE LEFT IN AN ECCLES GRAVEYARD


    Tony Flynn
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    Local News

    Following on with our recent articles and videos about the abandoned and forgotten graveyards of Barton upon Irwell, the story takes another twist.

    Whilst we were  filming in the Barton upon Irwell Wesleyan Methodist graveyard on Barton Road, the one that that mired in controversy when the developer callously smashed the headstones and was forced to put them back, which he did, but not in the original sites.

    Amongst the rubbish that had been dumped there, we noticed a small, black marble headstone. that had been left and it was obviously a fairly recent headstone with gilt lettering and no sign of wear.

    It reads, In Loving Memory of Darren L O'Brien, Died 6th July 2019,Aged 42 Years.

    One of our readers, Debbie Milton contacted us this week to ay that the headstone was still there and wondered if it had been stolen and dumped there?

    I fear this is one of those cases which has more questions than answers, who was Darren OL O'Brien,  was he a local man, who paid for the headstone, why was it left in the Barton Wesleyan, is their a family connection to this burial ground, has it been removed from another graveyard in the area, All Saints and St Catherine's can be ruled out I should imagine, that leaves Peel Green cemetery, but why remove it and place it here?

    To my untrained eyes it doesn't appear to have been in the soil at all, also it is a small size, possibly an addition to a family grave.

    I would love to find out who, Darren was and how and why his headstone has ended up in the Barton Wesleyan burial ground in such undignified circumstances, so if you have any knowledge of this, we would love to hear from you and return the headstone to it's rightful owners.



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    Assuming that Darren L. O'Brien was born in England (or Wales), there appears to be only one birth that fits the data on the headstone, and that would appear to be the birth of Darren Lee O'Brien in the Aylesbury Registration District, which was registered in January 1977.   It seems likely that he died in the Salford area and if you have £12 that is burning a hole in your pocket, then you could splash it on purchasing a Death Certificate, and thereby sate your curiosity.

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